Posts Tagged ‘TRADE Act’

The TRADE Act, one of the few positive trade bills to come before Congress in a long time, could be voted on ANY DAY now. Our friends at the American Friends Service Committee have sent out this alert. Please take a moment to call your representatives and ask them to cosponsor the bill. It’s truly one of the few times you can call IN SUPPORT of something that will really improve the livelihoods of people on both sides of the border, protect labor rights and the environment. How often do you get that opportunity? Please call today! Below, the AFSC does a great job of summarizing the bill’s key points and reasons to advocate for its passage.


Click here to see a web version of this alert or access background materials


TAKE ACTION: Change the future of trade policy!


Last year, with your support, over 80 members of the U.S. House and Senate cosponsored landmark legislation setting forth a progressive vision for future trade agreements.  The Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act is a positive bill that outlines a trade agenda that will support livelihoods and development in both rich and poor countries.


Your help is needed now to urge your congressional members to once again cosponsor the 2009 TRADE Act.  This groundbreaking initiative will likely be reintroduced next week and it needs as many original cosponsors as possible.  The bill has already won the support of hundreds of faith, farm, labor and environmental groups.  The more cosponsors the TRADE Act has when reintroduced, the more momentum we will gain for a fair trade agenda. 



Call your two U.S. representatives
and urge her/him to be an original cosponsor of the 2009 House TRADE Act.

 Call the Capitol Switchboard (212) 224-3121
 Click here to find your representative.   




The Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act was first put forward in the 110th session by Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Mike Michaud.  AFSC together with other faith-based organizations requested changes to that bill that reflect our values and Mr. Michaud’s office incorporated almost all of them!

With your help, the future of trade policy can be shaped today.

A Balanced Way to Expand Trade


  • The TRADE Act maps out a fair path forward, explaining what we care about in a good agreement. 
  • It lays out the blueprint for how we can fix the existing model, showing what a responsible pacts would look like, and the procedures needed to get us there.
  • The bill shifts the debate towards discussing a new and improved globalization model.
  • It moves beyond repeatedly fighting against expansions of failed policies, and sets a marker for where new discussion should start later this year.


Answering Failed Policies of the Past


  • Pacts such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the Peru Free Trade Agreement have not met up to their basic promises. 
  • These agreements should be serving a majority of people on issues such as wages, public health, the environment, human rights, food and consumer safety and access to essential services. 
  • Instead, these “free trade” policies have come at great costs.  The price we’ve paid in offshoring of jobs, downward pressure on wages, and damage to our environment and loss of family farms is far too great. 


The Purpose of the Trade Act


  • This initiative sets forth what we are for – shutting down the bogus claim that we oppose trade or have no alternative vision because we oppose these old failed agreements of the past.
  • This bill sets forth concrete ways to push our shared conviction that trade and investment are not ends unto themselves, but must also serve as a means for achieving greater societal goals.
  • This bill also serves as a litmus test.  By seeing who cosponsors — and who does not — we know who our trade champions are in the future.



Call the Capitol Switchboard TODAY

(212) 224-3121


For more information, click here.

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Equal Exchange joins a large number of organizations who are asking President-elect Obama to re-negotiate our trade agreements to ensure that all trade is fair trade, putting people and the planet over profits.

Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 5, 2009


Nearly 60 organizations and networks sent a letter to President-elect Obama  urging him to follow through on his campaign pledge to renegotiate NAFTA as a first step towards crafting an alternative trade model that puts people and the environment first over the profits of global corporations. 

“Our letter outlines the areas we think need the most urgent attention,” said Tom Loudon of the Quixote Center. “Based on many years of work, we have identified ten priority areas: agriculture, energy, foreign investment, financial services, the role of the State in the provision of services, employment, migration, environment, intellectual property rights and dispute settlement provisions.”

“To be effective, any new approach to trade must take into account that agriculture and food are unique and should not fall under the same trade rules as TV sets,” said Dennis Olson of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). “Countries must have the policy flexibility to address the current global food crisis.”

Earlier this year, many of us were part of a three country effort which drafted a policy proposal entitled NAFTA Must be Renegotiated; A Proposal from North America Civil Society Networks,” Loudon continued.  “We envision new relationships between our countries that establish economic relations based on social justice within a paradigm of sustainable development.”


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On Aug. 8, Centro Presente, an immigrant organization in Boston put out the following press release:

Communities of faith and community organizations publicly denounce operations recently conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Somerville, MA – In recent days the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has conducted operations in various cities in the greater Boston area. This situation has caused anguish and uncertainty in immigrant families. “We strongly reject the presence of ICE in our communities. We denounce their tactics which we find to be militaristic, intimidating and discriminatory. We believe in and reaffirm the concept of democracy, and for this reason we make use of our legitimate right to speak up and demand respect for the human dignity of the immigrant community. A profound change in the immigration policy of the United States is urgently needed; a legal overhaul that reflects the true principles of liberty and democracy under which this country was founded,” declared Maria Elena Letona, Executive Director of Centro Presente and member of the Executive Committee of The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC)…

In recent months, thousands of immigrants have been deported following ICE factory raids occurring with greater frequency across the United States. The largest raid in Massachusetts occurred in March 2007 in New Bedford when an army of 300 federal immigration agents raided a leather factory and arrested 350 Guatemalan and Salvadoran workers. Federal agents stormed the building and helicopters circled above the factory alerting the agents of escape routes when terrified workers tried to flee. (more…)

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The TRADE Act, currently before Congress, is an attempt to rethink U.S. trade policies. The following is a press release from the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University about the impact trade policies have had on small-scale farmers:

Agricultural trade liberalization has largely failed to bring lasting benefit to rural areas in Latin America, where small-holder agriculture remains a key economic activity says a new report published by WOLA and GDAE.

Trade liberalization has provided a few countries in Latin America with unprecedented export opportunities, say authors Mamerto Pérez, Sergio Schlesinger and Timothy A. Wise in their report The Promise and Perils of Agricultural Trade Liberalization: Lessons from the Americas,but it has not generated broad-based development and has caused long-term harm to small producers and consumers.

“This report comes at an important time,” says Vicki Gass, WOLA’s Senior Associate for Rights and Development. “Unregulated trade liberalization in Latin America’s rural sector is clearly a contributing factor to the current food crisis hitting Latin America. Policy makers in the region, and the U.S., have to re-think the whole package of policies they have adopted in recent years. The new administration and Congress will have the opportunity to reconsider U.S. support for trade liberalization policies and move toward financially supporting small producers who supply local and regional markets.”

Among the report’s main policy suggestions: (more…)

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