Tonight FDL will be hosting a webinar at 8pm ET on the NAFTA-style trade deals for Panama, Columbia and Korea that congress will vote on this week.
Our guests will be actor Danny Glover, Chair of TransAfrica; Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Professor Joseph Jordan of TransAfrica’s Scholars’ Council. TransAfrica Chief of Staff Joia Nuri will host the chat and serve as moderator.
TransAfrica has taken a strong position against the trade agreements:
The Korea FTA is the biggest “free trade” deal since NAFTA. Even government studies show it will increase our trade deficit and it’s projected to cost 159,000 U.S. jobs just in its first seven years. Hardest hit would be “jobs of the future” sectors, such as solar, high-speed trains and computer-related manufacturing. Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world for trade unionists; since President George W. Bush signed this deal in 2007, the number of unionists assassinated has risen to 51 last year – more than the rest of thee world combined. Violence against and forced displacements of Afro-Colombians has intensified since the FTA was signed and Afro-Colombian communities have led the opposition to the pact in Colombia. And Panama, with a history of failing to protect workers’ rights, is known as a tax haven for money launderers and tax dodgers. The deal with Panama would eliminate the tools we now have to try to collect the desperately needed revenue U.S. tax-dodgers now hide in Panama.
The deals are expected to ship over 200,000 jobs overseas. But Obama did not follow through on his promise to insist on passage of Trade Assistance Agreements (TAAs) to aid displaced workers before submitting the deals to Congress. Therefore, the rule that passed the House will have them voting on the TAAs only after votes have been taken on the Columbia, Korea and Panama deals. So the White House gave up any leverage it had with the GOP to get them passed.
It’s extremely ironic that the President is touting these bills as part of his “jobs” program, even though they increase both unemployment and the trade deficit. (The White House has taken to using Orwellian phrases about how they “support” existing jobs.) But it’s little more than a jab in the eye of all the young people who are jobless and taking part in OccupyWallStreet events across the country right now that the President is forcing through his own expansion of NAFTA.
Click here to sign up and join us for this important event. The presentation will be limited to 100 participants, but we will be putting a video of the event online for everyone to see shortly after it concludes.