There are three main candidates for the Democratic primary elections to become candidate for President of the US: Clinton, Obama and Edwards. On October 27, Senator John Edwards announced his full opposition to the US-Peru free trade agreement. Incredibly, Senator Barack Obama has expressed his support to this unfair commercial agreement. Meanwhile, Senator Hillary Clinton keeps in silence about it but she has said that free trade agreements should be reviewed every 5 years.
Well today -a trick more than a treat- the House Committee on Ways and Means approved this NAFTA-style deal and I got this email which I am reposting because I am joining this event tomorrow:
PROTEST REP. CHARLES RANGEL AFTER HIS SUPPORT TO THE PERU FREE TRADE AGREEMENT! JOIN THE NATIONAL WEEK OF PROTEST TO STOP NAFTA EXPANSION TO PERU!
Hanks to bribes from corporations like drug giant Pfizer (which wants to limit access to generic AIDS medications) sell-out Democratic Rep Charlie Rangel, Chair of the House Ways and Means committee is leading Democrats to support the Peru Free Trade Agreement (Peru FTA or "TLC" in Spanish), a NAFTA-style free trade deal which will be devastating to workers, Indigenous or Native people and Afro-Peruvians who represent over 90% of Peruvians, family farmers, the environment, people with AIDS, social security recipients, animals – everyone but multi-national corporations! A vote on the agreement is likely to take place during the first or second week of October.
The Peru Free Trade Agreement is the first of new NAFTA-style trade agreements the Bush administration intends to pass. After Peru, Panama, Colombia, and South Korea are next! Four million Peruvian farmers and workers went on a two-day general strike this summer to protest their President’s betrayal of his campaign promise to oppose this agreement! In addition, the two largest labor union federations in Peru have written letters to U.S. legislators urging a “No” vote on the trade pact.
PROTEST & STREET THEATER @ RANGEL’S OFFICE!
DATE/TIME: Thursday, November 1st, 2007 12:30PM PLACE: Right in front of Congressmen Charles Rangel's Office: at Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building, 163 West 125th Street (between Malcolm X Blvd. and 7th Ave.) (Take Subway to 125th St) in New York City.
CALL YOUR CONGRESS MEMBERS!
Even if you can’t make the protest, be sure to call your Senators and Represenatives in their Washington, DC offices. To find your legislators'names and contact info, visit:
When you call ask to speak to their Legislative Aide on trade issues and express your opposition to the Peru Free Trade Agreement. Ask them how they intend to vote. If you get voicemail, leave a message and ask for a call back.
And this is another email I received also today. This is the official press release which includes the incredibly fake speech of Senator Rangel right after "his" House Committee on Ways and Means passed the US-Peru FTA.
House Committee on Ways and Means
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 Contact:
Matthew Beck or J. Jioni Palmer
Ways and Means Approves US-Peru FTA
Measure will head to House Floor for final consideration
– The House Committee on Ways and Means today approved implementing language for the US-Peru free trade agreement (FTA). The legislation, H.R. 3688, passed the Committee 39-0, indicating strong bipartisan support for the agreement. The US-Peru FTA is the first agreement to include, in its text, core standards for labor and the environment. The measure now moves to the House Floor for consideration by the body next week. Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) offered the following opening remarks during today’s markup:
"I want to reinforce the importance of the changes that took place in our American trade policy earlier this year to make it clear that, at the end of the day, no matter what agreement we are talking about, certain basic principles would be included in a bipartisan way. The inclusion of core standards for labor and important environmental protections, including an historic agreement on logging and greater access to life-saving medicines represent the culmination of a decade-long effort to incorporate these principles into the text of US trade agreements. By including these provisions, we make it possible for members to consider these agreements on their merits and substance, rather than feel as though they have been excluded from the process.
"Because of the bipartisan support we brought to the United States Trade Representative and Treasury earlier this year, this new policy includes a commitment in every trade agreement to fully appreciate the negative aspects of trade on the American economy, our workers, and our industry. As much as we want to expand trade, we also must make a commitment to improve the situation here at home as it relates to investment incentives, education and training so that we can have the most productive workforce to compete with other countries and encourage investments in our towns and cities, rather than simply protecting investments overseas.
"This FTA represents an opportunity to recognize that the current tariffs with Peru are one-sided. With this FTA, we can make trade a two-way street and expand markets for American manufacturing equipment, technology and services to help our companies and workers while also helping Peru combat poverty.
"Today we move forward with a new trade policy to demonstrate that we are for trade that is fair and bipartisan and that takes American workers into consideration. I am very happy that we have broken the decade-long deadlock preventing bipartisan trade policy and I encourage my colleagues to support this historic agreement."