[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

No Subject

Enviro-Mich message from Chad Bailey <crbailey@umich.edu>

Hey all,

Ever since its inception a few years ago, the North American Free Trade
Agreement has made its ugly self known to most Americans.  Whether it's
Ross Perot's presidential infomercials or the meeting with the boss to
tell the American worker that their job has been shipped to Mexico, the
ways that America has been touched by NAFTA are numerous.

Oh, the Clinton Administration claims NAFTA as a great victory for the
American economy.  In reality, NAFTA is a veritable leech on the jugular
of every American worker.

What's happened under NAFTA?  Well, real median wages of Americans have
decreased from $10.78 an hour in 1993 to $10.35 an hour in 1996, a 4.1%
decline.  Our modest trade surplus with Mexico in '93 has disappeared to
give way to the highest trade deficit we've ever had with Mexico:  $16
billion.  Worse yet, the huge boost that the United States was to have in
job creation has led to dramatic gains in the number of service sector
jobs with an abysmal drop in the number of manufacturing sector jobs.  The
Department of Labor reports that the most new positions opened in the
following professions:  cashiers, janitors, retail sales clerks and
waiters and waitresses.  The fact of the matter is that high-value-added
jobs are moving straight to Mexican factories called maquiladoras where
labor, job safety, and environmental protections are virtually unheard of. 
Meanwhile, the amount of pollution from trade in the U.S. has skyrocketed!
Remember the hepatitis strawberry scare?  Those were Mexican
strawberries and it happened because under NAFTA, only 1% of food imported
from Mexico and Canada is ever inspected!    

Now, President Clinton is asking for unilateral "fast track" power to
make NAFTA even worse for the American worker.  He is introducing
legislation now that will give the Executive Branch power to negotiate
Congress will eventually approve the trade agreement, but will be
absolutely barred from attaching ammendments to it.  Hence, when Congress
comes to vote, it's all or nothing on trade agreements.  Your legislator
will have NO POWER to improve the deal.

Meanwhile, the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) is under
completion.  MAI is NAFTA on steroids.  Dozens of nations will be a part
of this new treaty.  And since it is an international treaty, local, state
and even national level governments will have absolutely no power left to
impose environmental or work saftey standards on multinational
corporations.  Under MAI, a corporation can SUE a foreign country if it
feels it is being regulated in any way by that government.

NAFTA and MAI are bad news.  Period.  Call your state legislator TODAY and
ask them to oppose "fast track" power for the President!  And be SURE to 
tell them to give NAFTA and MAI the boot!  If you're registered to vote in
Ann Arbor, your representative is Lynn Rivers, whose district office
number is (202) 225-6261.  And the senators are:  Carl Levin (313)
226-6020 and Spencer Abraham (810) 350-0510.

Forwarding is strongly welcomed...



Chad Bailey					"Love is a verb."
Resident Director					-Stephen R. Covey
Mary Markley Hall	

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"