Your help is needed! During this time of economic downturn and continuing job losses, we need to reiterate our opposition to trade deals left over from the Bush Administration, such as the Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The Panama FTA is modeled after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and should not be approved by Congress. Congress should not continue the Bush legacy of bad trade agreements, which cost jobs and hurt families.
We especially should not enter into a trade agreement with Panama, a country known as a tax haven for multinational corporations. A Government Accountability Office study identified Panama as one of eight countries listed on all the major tax haven watchdog lists. A trade agreement with Panama only perpetuates the use of this country as a tax haven and a money laundering center.
The Panama FTA as currently written, along with the Colombia and South Korea agreements, are examples of the flawed trade policy that our country can no longer afford to live with. We cannot continue to outsource American jobs, undermine our Buy American or Buy Local procurement policies, place downward pressure on wages and labor standards, degrade the environment, import unsafe food products, and allow the decimation of family farms in other countries.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Representative Mike Michaud of Maine introduced the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment, or TRADE, Act last year and will do so again in this Congress. The TRADE Act offers a blueprint for what our trade agreements with other countries should look like and ensures that these agreements are fair for all those involved. Eighty members of the U.S. House and Senate signed on as cosponsors last year, and we need to have even more support when the legislation is reintroduced this year.
Your members of Congress need to hear from you! Please take the time today to ask your representative and Senators to come out publicly against the Panama FTA and to sign on as a cosponsor of the TRADE Act when it is reintroduced this year. It is time for a new, balanced trade policy, not more of the same!
Take action here.