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Urge Congress to vote NO on CAFTA!

Dear Global Justice Activists,

Yesterday, President Bush sent the implementing legislation for CAFTA-DR to
the US Congress, and signaled that it might be scheduled for a vote before
the July weeklong Congressional recess, which starts Monday July 4th. This
means that CAFTA could be voted on as soon as next Thursday, June 30th.

THEM TO VOTE AGAINST CAFTA IMMEDIATELY. Please call 1-866-340-9281, a
toll-free number sponsored by the United Steelworkers of America, and urge
Congress to vote NO on CAFTA!!!!!

Let us stop this horrible devastation of corporate globalization ­ and
instead build a relationship with Central America based on respect, dignity,
fairness, and peace.

For Immediate Release: June 23, 2005

Contact: Deborah James, 415-846-2061 or Andrea Buffa, 510-325-3653

At Long Last, Bush Sends CAFTA to Congress

Desperate Attempt to Push through Massively Unpopular Treaty ­ With or
Without the Votes; Global Exchange Calls on Citizens to Voice Their

Washington, DC - In a long awaited move, the Bush Administration finally
sent the Central America ­ Dominican Republic ­ United States Free Trade
Agreement (DR-CAFTA) to Congress for approval. With Fast Track in place, a
vote could come as early as next week.

In response, Global Exchange, an international human rights organization,
called on citizens across the country to make their voices heard with their
elected officials in opposition to CAFTA. ³Corporate lobbyists are spending
millions of dollars to buy votes in Congress. But they still don¹t have the
votes, because millions of real-life working Americans have been devastated
by the NAFTA model of ³free trade.² Americans have stopped blindly following
the trail of broken promises and false myths of corporate globalization. We
want to build a different path of regional integration and real development
with our Central American neighbors,² said Deborah James, Global Economy
Director of Global Exchange.

In the 11 years since the passage of NAFTA, over 800,000 US workers have
lost their jobs as factories have moved south in search of cheap labor and
un-enforced environmental and labor laws. In Mexico, manufacturing wages
have plunged by 20% since NAFTA came into effect. Over 1.5 million Mexican
farmers have been squeezed off their land as low-priced U.S. taxpayer
subsidized corn overwhelmed their native corn markets. As a result, the
number farmers who have left their communities and headed north in an effort
to find an income feed their families has skyrocketed. Meanwhile, in the US,
some 38,000 family-owned farms have closed, while agri-business profits have

The devastating effects of NAFTA have led many in Congress to question the
³free-trade² model. In the House, numerous Republicans have joined the vast
majority of Democrats in opposing CAFTA. The Hispanic Caucus voted 14-1 in
opposition, and historically pro-free trade Democrats have joined the
opposition. Many estimates range that Bush is between 30-40 votes shy of
passing CAFTA.

May 28 marked the one-year anniversary of the signing of CAFTA. Trade
agreements are usually ratified within 3 months, but CAFTA has faced stiff
opposition on both sides of the aisle. Now the Bush Administration is
lobbying hard for what it considers to be the most important trade item on
the agenda this year. ³As support for the occupation of Iraq plummets, and
Republican efforts to privatize social security flounders, Bush is hurting
for a policy win ­ but he can¹t do it on the backs of Central American and
US farmers and workers,² said James.

³Everyone thought the Republicans wouldn¹t send CAFTA to the floor until
they had the votes. But CAFTA just cannot pass on the merits. So Bush seems
to be resorting to good old pork barrel politics to buy votes,² said James.
But a report released by Public Citizen last week showed that 89% of 64
policy promises made for past trade votes were broken, and two third of pork
barrels remained empty. ³It seems that the Bush Administration¹s only hope
of passing CAFTA is through false promises, political pressure, and a failed
ideology, rather than the record of the model¹s impact on real-life

Global Exchange experts on CAFTA are available for interviews in English or

Deborah James, Global Economy Director
Global Exchange
415.575.5537 direct line
415.255.7296 x245
415.255.7498 fax
2017 Mission Street #303, San Francisco, CA 94110

 source: Global Exchange