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E-M:/ FINAL PUSH TO STOP FAST TRACK - take action



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Enviro-Mich message from "Joshua Martin" <joshua@americanlands.org>
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Take action on Fast Track.
The next few days are the most crucial yet and Peter Hoekstra is a key
swing.
Call the toll free number today and ask to speak to the aide on trade
issues.
*****************************************************
To: All trade and environmental activists
From: Jason Tockman, American Lands
Date: December 4, 2001

                 --Please circulate widely--

FINAL PUSH TO STOP FAST TRACK
--National Call-in Day today: 800-393-1082
--HR 3005 would imperil forests, harm the environment
--If you do one thing this year to prevent economic globalization, this
should be it!

Please join us as we mount a massive final push to defeat the Republican
Fast Track Bill scheduled for a House vote as early as Thursday of this
week. A national call has gone out to pull out all the stops and flood all
undecided members of Congress with phone calls to ensure that they VOTE NO
ON REP. THOMAS' HR 3005 or anything resembling it. Our actions over the next
few days will determine the outcome of the vote. As reported in
CongressDaily below, the business community is waging a high-priced campaign
of TV ads and CEO lobby visits; we must counter with an unprecedented
outpouring of grassroots pressure.

The AFL-CIO's toll-free Fast Track number is 800-393-1082. Please call your
representative, and have your friends, colleagues, and family members call
this week as well. BE SURE TO SPEAK TO THE TRADE AIDE and express your
opposition to the Thomas Fast Track Bill, as we do not want to see any more
trade deals brokered under a NAFTA model that has undermined environmental
and labor standards.

Currently, we have the votes to kill Fast Track, but LAST MINUTE
INTERVENTION BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION COULD TAKE THIS VICTORY AWAY FROM
US. We must take this opportunity to build pressure to assure that our
narrow margin of Congress members against Fast Track does not slip away.

For more information, or to learn the position of an individual member of
Congress, contact Jason Tockman at tockman@americanlands.org or
740-594-5441.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

BACK GROUND ON FAST TRACK
Fast Track is a procedural law by which Congress agrees to not alter trade
agreements developed by U.S. negotiators, in exchange for a set of
guidelines provided to the administration by Congress. Congress does reserve
its right to vote "yes" or "no" on the final trade deal, but provides great
latitude to negotiators in crafting trade agreements with the U.S.'s trading
partners. Although Congress could insist upon MANDATORY negotiating
objectives for trade agreements, such as the enforcement and improvement of
environmental laws, the Thomas Bill does no such thing. It essentially puts
in place negotiating "guidelines", with no Congressional mechanism for
assuring that objectives are ever achieved. At such time that Congress votes
on a Fast-Tracked trade deal, members are loathe to appear to be voting
"against trade", yet they have relinquished their ability to offer
amendments to improve the agreement. This process is a clear recipe for more
NAFTAs, under the ambitious pursuit of U.S. Trade Representative Robert
Zoellick.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

ENVIRONMENTAL, FOREST IMPACTS OF FAST TRACK
The environmental and forest impacts of NAFTA and the WTO have been
significant, through not only the direct effects of increased trade in
goods, but also through a complex set of trade rules engineered to promote
commerce without consideration for impacts on environmental protections. For
example, NAFTA has resulted in accelerated logging of the ancient forests of
Canada, increased air pollution along high-use trade corridors, and the
rollback of a Canadian law that banned a toxic gasoline additive. A $970
million case now challenges a California standard prohibiting a
cancer-causing gasoline additive, and Mexico was fined $16.7 million for
prohibiting a landfill that would have contaminated a community’s water
supply. Environmental challenges have also been brought before the WTO,
where in all but one of 21 cases, WTO tribunals have ruled against the
environment.

By facilitating the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the Thomas Fast
Track Bill seeks to extend NAFTA's impacts to the whole hemisphere. It would
extend NAFTA’s Chapter 11 on investment, allowing transnational corporations
from 31 additional countries to seek to impede U.S. environmental laws if
their profit-making is impeded. HR 3005 would also lead to:

           --Increased industrial clearcut logging of critical forest areas,
           such as Chile’s ancient temperate forests through the
           elimination of tariffs (import taxes)

           --Acceleration of the spread of ecologically and economically
           destructive invasive species through prohibition of precautionary
           measures

           --Limiting government enactment of forest protection safeguards
           by forbidding measures--such as eco-labeling, certification, and
           bans on raw log exports--considered to be barriers to trade

           --Expansion of trade agreements to cover the service sector,
           restricting nations' ability to limit oil and gas development,
           hazardous waste facilities, water extraction, and impacts from
           concentrated tourism activities such as motorboating

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

National Journal's CongressDailyAM
December 4, 2001

DESPITE LACK OF TRADE SUPPORT, CHAMBER TELLS HOUSE, ' VOTE IT '

   U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue said Monday
House GOP leaders should hold a vote on renewing presidential
trade negotiating authority Thursday even if they expect the
measure to fail.
   "I'm willing to take the risk," Donohue told reporters. He
said that if House GOP leaders called Thursday morning to report
the votes would not be there, his advice would be, "Vote it."
   Donohue recalled that an effort to pass what was called "fast
track" in 1997 probably would have succeeded had congressional
leaders and former President Clinton not "blinked" and pulled the
bill.
   Donohue said he is confident that President Bush and House GOP
leaders will go through with the vote Thursday, even if might
fail.
   Although Bush in recent days appears to have done little in
the way of retail lobbying for the bill, several leading business
lobbyists Monday expressed satisfaction with the administration's
effort.
   The administration has put out the word that Bush has cleared
out his schedule this week to work the phones and meet with
lawmakers at the White House.
   "We are certain he will be engaged up through the vote, making
visits and calls to get us over the top," said Chamber Vice
President William Morley.
   One K Street official who recently complained about the lack
of Bush's personal involvement said he was now "very impressed"
with Bush's commitment.
   Others indicated they saw vigorous involvement at other levels
of the administration.
   "Even [Secretary of State] Powell's involved," said one.
   A group of about 20 CEOs of major corporations that comprise
the Emergency Committee for American Trade today will send a
letter to House Speaker Hastert expressing support for trade
negotiating authority.
   Among those signing the letter are ECAT Chairman and McGraw-
Hill CEO Harold McGraw III, as well as the CEOs of Cargill,
Caterpillar, Ford Motor Co. and New York Life International, and
other companies.
   Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation sent a letter to
House members urging their approval of the trade bill.
   Donohue acknowledged he is less confident of victory than he
was on the eve of the vote last year on permanent normal trade
relations for China.
   However, he said there are probably members holding out who
actually have made up their mind, but know that they can extract
concessions on other issues of they continue to insist they are
undecided. "That's the system," he conceded. -- By Stephen Norton
and Keith Koffler

---------------------------------------------
Jason Tockman, Director
International Trade Program
American Lands Alliance
PO Box 555
Athens, OH 45701
(740) 594-5441





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