News Release

Opponents Vow to Defeat Fast Track

At his news conference Thursday afternoon, President Bush expressed a desire to gain approval from Congress for presidential fast-track negotiating authority. “I’d love to have fast-track approval,” he said. “I think it’s going to be important to work with our neighbors to the south and Canada to the north to promote free trade throughout the hemisphere.”

But opponents responded by denouncing scenarios for fast-track authority. The following policy analysts are available for interviews:

SARAH ANDERSON
Anderson, director of the Global Economy Project of the Institute for Policy Studies, said today: “Before granting Bush fast-track authority, members of Congress should take a close look at the U.S. negotiating positions for the Free Trade Area of the Americas. While the vast majority of Americans say they believe trade deals should advance labor and environmental protections, the U.S. proposals for the FTAA completely ignore these concerns. In fact, their proposed hemispheric deal would actually be a step backwards from the much-criticized North American Free Trade Agreement in its treatment of social concerns.”

(Anderson recently edited “America’s Plan for the Americas: A Critical Analysis of the U.S. Negotiating Positions on the FTAA.”
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KATHERINE OZER
Executive director of the National Family Farm Coalition, Ozer said today: “The National Family Farm Coalition represents family farmers working to change our federal farm policy to ensure that family farmers can earn a decent living from the farm. We oppose granting new fast-track authority that would be used to push expansion of NAFTA to 34 other countries in the hemisphere. A ‘free-trade’ export-driven policy has not worked for family farmers, whether in the United States, Canada or Mexico. Current farm policy lowers farm income for commodities and in turn lowers the prices for farm products around the world. The same corporate buyers of commodities — whether in the U.S., Canada or Mexico — have seen record profits during the past five years while family farmers in each of those three countries continue to go out of business.”
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For further information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
David Zupan (541) 484-9167