Thursday, June 23, 2005

Tell Your Elected Officials To Vote "NO" on CAFTA

The Working Families e-Network of The AFL-CIO has put forth ten good reasons to oppose CAFTA. They also encourage you to let your congressperson and/or Senator know that you oppose CAFTA and that you vote. CAFTA represents a small part of the global plan to strenghten big business at the expense of the common man and woman. I urge all people who are reading this article to sign the working families petition at www. peoplepower@aflcio.org.The ten reasons show us things most of us are not aware of and wouldn't be seen in main stream media publications. 1. CAFTA would give new protections to U.S. multinational companies for operating outside the country, creating new incentives for them to export jobs.
2. At the same time, CAFTA would reduce protections for workers--here and in Central America.
3. That one-two punch combines to make goods produced in other countries cheaper and less risky for the makers--and to make it impossible for U.S. manufacturers to compete.
4. When we can't compete with foreign goods, we import more and our trade deficit soars. It happened with NAFTA. Our trade deficit with NAFTA countries is 12 times bigger than before NAFTA--it shot up from $9 billion in 1993 to $111 billion last year.
5. When imports and our trade deficit grow, we lose U.S. jobs. We lost an estimated 900,000 net jobs to NAFTA.
6. CAFTA proponents are making the same claims made by NAFTA's backers--and those claims were grossly exaggerated and have been proved wrong again and again.
7. CAFTA would hurt, not help, Central American and Dominican workers. NAFTA's legacy included displaced Mexican subsistence farmers who were turned into unemployed masses, far outnumbering the few jobs NAFTA created. Overall, real wages for Mexican workers actually have fallen since NAFTA.
8. CAFTA would hurt workers who don't lose jobs, too. It would make it easier for employers to fight workers struggling to form unions by threatening to close down. NAFTA did: By the late 1990s, employers threatened to shut down if workers formed a union in 51 percent of union representation election campaigns--and 71 percent in manufacturing--compared with 29 percent in the mid-1980s.
9. In addition--increased trade lowers wages for low-skilled U.S. workers. Real wages for most U.S. men actually have fallen since NAFTA.
10. U.S. workers already are hurting from anti-worker trade policies. Now is the time to do trade the right way--by rewarding work and respecting workers here and in other countries.
The time has come to stop CAFTA and protect workers here and in Central America

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