We’ve talked a lot about Fast Track over the last few years. Fast Track gives the President authority to negotiate and sign NAFTA-like “free” trade agreements without a full debate in Congress or constituent input. The two agreements in the pipeline are the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade agreement involving a dozen countries along the Pacific Rim collectively representing about 40% of global trade, and TTIP-the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, an agreement between the European Union and the United States with impacts far beyond those borders. NAFTA was a disaster for working families, small-scale farmers in all participating countries, and the environment, and these agreements are expected to be a repeat but on a much larger scale.
Because of the enormity of these agreements and their potential negative impact, there has been a tremendous amount of opposition to Fast Track in both the general public and within Congress. Previous attempts to introduce such legislation have been stalled. Yet Congress and lobbyist are gearing up to introduce Fast Track again.
But opponents are gearing up too. In November, Fair World Project participated in a week of action to Stop Fast Track and we facilitated sending 10,000 letters to Congress asking Senators and Representatives to oppose Fast Track. Combined with the thousands of letters facilitated by our allies, this sent a clear message to Congress.
It’s time to do it again now. Fair World Project has joined other organizations around the country and globe, endorsing the National Day of Action Against Fast Track and the Global Day of Action Against Unfair Trade on April 18, 2015.
Here’s how you can get involved.
- If you have not yet written to your representatives in Congress, it’s not too late. Let them know you want fair trade not free trade!
- Find or organize an event in your community! Congress needs to hear from you but they also need to see you in the streets and this is a great way to raise awareness in your community about what is happening and how these agreements will affect all of us. You can also register your event globally.
- Congress has the power to vote for or against Fast Track, but much of the pressure to negotiate these free trade agreements comes from multi-national companies and their corporate lobbyists who are interested in making trade more profitable to their own company, no matter what the cost to the farmers, workers, and small businesses along the way. For this reason, we also need to more businesses to step up and oppose Fast Track. Some of the most logical companies to do this are those who have shown their care about fair trade for farmers by adopting fair trade marketing schemes, like Starbucks, the coffee giant. Tell Starbucks to oppose Fast Track and insist on fair trade products and policies.
Finally, help us spread the word by sharing this post and the action ideas and let’s hope the next day of action is a celebration of fair trade and not an opposition to unfair trade!
Posted on April 1st 2015