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Stop the FTAA!  
  PlaceHolder for
Bush and Kerry: Outsource America 2004

Director of Public Affairs
Phone: 920-749-3780



John F. McManus, Campaign Spokesman
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Both President Bush and his challenger, John Kerry, have indicated that the effect on jobs of several free trade agreements will be an important issue in this already hot election year. While admitting that some jobs are moving overseas, President Bush claims it to be the result of a normal ebb and flow that will produce eventual benefits for Americans. Senator Kerry has pointed only to a need for stricter labor and environmental standards in future free trade pacts. Neither denies that jobs are leaving as factories close down and other jobs are "outsourced."

Even if jobs were the only concern in this election, there is no fundamental difference on this issue between these two politicians. Mr. Bush champions the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and Sen. Kerry’s voting record is 0 for 3 in favor of NAFTA, WTO and related "free trade" matters.

But the flow of jobs overseas isn't the only consequence of so-called free trade agreements. NAFTA has opened our nation's borders wider than ever and the proposed FTAA will worsen this already huge problem. President Bush’s recent proposal that would effectively grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants seems to have left Kerry silent, meaning he must agree with the President's proposal. Instead, both men should be working to protect our nation's borders, not supporting these trade agreements that accomplish the exact opposite.

The issue that should be of greatest concern to Americans, however, is the continuing loss of our nation's independence because of these agreements. Rulings issued by NAFTA have forced changes in U.S. laws and pressure exerted by the World Trade Organization has recently seen President Bush cancel tariffs on steel importation. Now we see that a NAFTA tribunal has been given superiority over our nation's state and federal courts in a dispute involving a Canadian real estate company.

Former congressman and former federal appeals court judge Abner Mikva has commented, "If Congress had known that there was anything like this in NAFTA, they would never have voted for it." The attitude expressed by Mikva, who is now a NAFTA judge, should awaken all of America's leaders to the sovereignty issue.

The FTAA will compromise America's sovereignty just as surely as the European Union entrapped its member nations. "Free trade" agreements have little to do with freedom when they contain thousands of pages of regulations. Our leaders shouldn't be proposing more of these pacts; they should be withdrawing us from pacts that already unfavorably impact our jobs, borders and national independence.

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