(en) Urgent! Stop trade bill!

Shawn Ewald (shawn@wilshire.net)
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 22:17:11 -0700

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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 21:58:17 -0800 (PST) To: Campaign for Labor Rights E-mail list <clr@igc.org> From: Mike Rhodes <clr2@igc.apc.org> Subject: Urgent! Stop trade bill!

Labor Alerts/Labor News a service of Campaign for Labor Rights 1247 "E" Street SE, Washington, DC 20003 <clr@igc.apc.org> (541) 344-5410 http://www.compugraph.com/clr

House to Vote on Extension of NAFTA Benefits to Central America on Tuesday The House of Representatives has scheduled a vote for Tuesday afternoon, October 28, 1997, on a bill that would provide more than $1 billion in trade breaks for Central American and Caribbean apparel exporters and multinationals but does nothing to ensure that these new trade breaks benefit maquiladora workers in the region. The measure, HR 2644, essentially extends the trade benefits provided under NAFTA to Mexico's apparel sector. The bill does so by unilaterally expanding the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) trade program to include clothing. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Phil Crane, R-IL, has rejected requests to strengthen the worker rights provisions that currently exist under CBI. Central American trade unions believe that trade programs and agreements should include strong worker rights conditions. CBI-parity (or NAFTA-parity as it is also called) has been a top priority of Central American business and government leaders for three years who have argued that NAFTA's lower trade benefits has put the region at a trade disadvantage vis-a-vis Mexico. However, despite dire predictions when NAFTA was passed that their maquiladora sector would collapse unless they were given parity, the Central America clothing-for-export sector has continued to grow, although not as fast as Mexico's clothing exports. Contact your representative immediately, NO LATER THAN TUESDAY NOON EAST COAST TIME, OCT. 28, 1997. Urge him/her to not support new trade breaks for Central America's maquiladora sector as proposed by HR 2644 until worker rights conditions are added to ensure that these trade breaks benefit Central American workers as well as exporters. Conditions to be added include an initial review and then an annual review of each nation's respect for basic worker rights as well as a system of sanctions that can effectively sanction specific or countries that violate basic worker rights.

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