In what appears to be one of the most promising efforts toward trade reform in recent memory, both the Senate and the House have a progressive new trade bill before them. The bill is gathering momentum, and in the House it already had 127 co-sponsors!
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representative Michael Michaud (D-ME) have sponsored bills in the Senate (S. 2821) and the House (H.R. 3012) respectively. Many articles in the bill answer our concerns about the impact of DR-CAFTA on the poor majorities in Central America. There would still remain work to be done to tear down the current model and build a better one, but these bills are a serious beginning!
The TRADE Act would apply to all future agreements, and would also mandate a reopening of NAFTA, CAFTA and other trade agreements to put them into compliance with the act. Under the TRADE Act there would be no Fast Track procedures (up-down vote with no amendments) in the Congress. The Congress would have to be consulted before and during the negotiations of an agreement. Any trade agreement would have to be approved by a majority in both Houses of Congress before the President signs it, rather than after as presently.
Supporting these bills is of dire importance. They contain progressive provisions that would protect vulnerable groups, allow for the promotion of environmental protection, and help support labor rights.
Read more about the House bill…
In order to take advantage of this momentum, we must act now. Please contact your Senators and Representative to tell them that you support fundamental change in U.S. trade policy!
Tell your representatives that:
I support the progressive trade bills (H.R. 3012 or S. 2821) that are now before Congress. I believe it is necessary to renegotiate past unfair trade policies, and to promote the needs of people through our new trade policies. As one of your constituents, I urge you to support this bill as well.