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NAFTA's Done Nothing for Us —
Delegates to Congress:
'No More NAFTAs!'

Our Jobs
And Schools

Page Two

UE News

Page One:
Delegates Tell Congress to Get Real (Introduction)

• Page Two:
No More NAFTAs! Lobbying Against Fast Track and FTAA

Page Three:
Delegates Cheer Congressional Allies

Page Four:
Defending Public Education

Page Five: 
Delegates (and an Articulate Teenager) Demand Closing School of Assasins

Page Six:
Conference Photo


Read the issues briefings conference delegates received in Political Action ...

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Alesha Daughtry delivers warning of NAFTA expansion

Alesha Daughtry delivers warning of NAFTA expansion.

Among the questions put to each lawmaker visited by UE delegates was this one: "Can you give us the name and address of at least ONE new manufacturing facility that has opened in your state or Congressional district directly as a result of the 1993 passage of NAFTA?"

How Senators and Representatives responded said a lot about their views on free trade.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) personally expressed the belief that NAFTA has allowed Vermont business to expand as a result of NAFTA. Rep. Tom Latham (R., Iowa) claimed that NAFTA’s gains to his state’s agricultural sector extended to new job creation in processing.

But not a single lawmaker could point to a single manufacturing facility that opened because of NAFTA.

When Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) saw the question, he laughed. "No, not a one," he told UE members.

"I can name 20 that have closed," said Mary Ann Richmond, aide to Sen. Russ Feingold (D., Wis.). Other aides and lawmakers from hard-hit industrial areas had similar reactions.


Local 893 members react to Rep. Tom Latham’s underwhelming response to their concerns

Local 893 members react to Rep. Tom Latham’s underwhelming response to their concerns. From left, Beth Austin, Sheila Van Osdel and Barb Adams.

No doubt NAFTA created jobs — "most Americans have two or three of them," Alesha Daughtry told the Political Action Conference. The problem is that NAFTA cost the U.S. economy good jobs, while lowering living standards in Mexico and adding to an environmental nightmare along the border, she said.

An organizer with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Daughtry sounded a warning about the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

"NAFTA will be renegotiated, but not on our terms," advised Daughtry. Secret negotiations have been underway to expand NAFTA from Alaska to the southern tip of South America — and to greatly expand the power of corporations to control our lives. Affecting 650 million people and some $9 trillion in capital, FTAA would be the world’s largest free-market zone.

The FTAA will give business new incentive to move jobs, open up government services to privatization, and allow corporations to sue government to eliminate labor, environmental and consumer protections.


"Not only will corporations control our jobs, but they will control how kids get educated," Daughtry said. Water services could be targeted for privatization, leaving corporations in control of access to ground water.

With the FTAA not scheduled to take effect until 2005, there is time to mobilize opposition, she said. A Hemispheric Day of Action will take place in Quebec April 21 as government leaders from throughout the Americas put the finishing touches on the FTAA.

Negotiations have taken place behind closed doors, without informing Congress of the details. "I bet your Representatives and Senators haven’t seen it," Daughtry said. That won’t stop the Bush Administration from pushing for "fast-track" negotiating authority to ram the deal through Congress, however.

Explaining the reality of working for a living ...

From right to left, Craig Miros, Local 714, and Sandy Coulter, Local 767, explain the reality of working for a living to an aide to Rep. Paul Gillmor.

In visits on Capitol Hill, UE conference delegates repeatedly raised their concerns about the FTAA and opposition to fast track with lawmakers. Meeting with an aide to Rep. Paul Gillmor (R., Ohio), Sandy Coulter, Local 767, asked point-blank if the Congressman had seen the text of the draft FTAA. The aide didn’t know. "We’d like him to see it, and tell us what he’s going to do about it," Coulter insisted. "NAFTA’s done nothing for us, and hurt our planet," said Craig Miros, Local 714 — to make sure the aide got the point.

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Delegates Tell Congress to 'Get Real'
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2001 UE Political Action Conference -> NAFTA

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