maxresdefaultNEW! Check out candidate responses to our trade & globalization questionnaire!

The NAFTA/World Trade Organization (WTO) model of trade is a proven failure for working people. The current unfair rules have led to job loss, stagnant wages, environmental destruction, bankrupted family farmers and handed over our rights to corporations.

But we are finally winning. Fair Trade candidates made huge gains in the 2006 Congressional elections, including here in Iowa. Current WTO talks are stalled. With momentum on our side, the election of the next president is the best hope in a generation to leave behind the NAFTA/WTO model forever.

The most recent news from our blog:

First-Ever Compilation of Candidates’ In-Depth Trade Positions

For Immediate Release
December 28, 2007

For More Info: James Ploeser: (515) 494-4315
Lori Wallach: (202) 441-7369

Check Here to View Complied Candidate Statements. To receive the full candidate statements by email, contact iowafairtrade@gmail.com

Iowa Fair Trade Campaign Releases First-Ever Compilation of Candidates’ In-Depth Trade Positions Provided in Response to Campaign’s Letter of Principles

As Candidates Jack up Trade Rhetoric in Final Caucus Sprint, Coalition of Labor, Faith, Family Farm, other Iowa Groups Reveal Substance of Candidates’ Positions

bananeras-uraba-coverDes Moines- As candidates increasingly sharpen their rhetoric on trade and offshoring in the final Caucus sprint, the Iowa Fair Trade Campaign released statements from all six Democratic candidates competing in the Iowa Democratic Caucus detailing their trade and globalization positions. These new statements, providing the most comprehensive view of the policy differences and similarities among the candidates, were provided by the campaigns in response to a letter sent by the Iowa Fair Trade Campaign and the Iowa AFL-CIO. The letter is signed by numerous Regional Labor Councils, the Iowa Farmers Union, and scores of faith, environmental, consumer and other labor and family farm groups.

“Because what the next president does on trade and globalization issues will greatly shape our nation’s future and the prospects for our families now, we thought it was critical to get past the rhetoric and generalities that had characterized most candidate’s approach to these issues,” said James Ploeser, organizer for the Iowa Fair Trade Campaign. “The detailed trade policies unveiled in these statements and in our compilation of responses by category allow prospective caucus goers to make educated decisions about the candidates based on what Iowa organizations laid out as important components for a new model for trade agreements and what constitutes ‘fair trade.’” Click here for information on trades and marketing tactics in Victoria, BC

139978433The 2008 Iowa Fair Trade Statement was sent to candidates with a cover letter requesting their views on the principles for an acceptable trade and globalization policy set forth by the major Iowa labor, family farm, faith and other signatory groups. The Iowa Fair Trade statement laid out principles on 5 key elements of trade and globalization policy:

  • Replacing the Fast Track trade negotiating process;
  • What must and must not be included in all future agreements;
  • Reviewing and, as necessary, renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other existing trade agreements;
  • Changing course on the current Doha Round World Trade Organization (WTO) expansion negotiations;
  • Combating the trade deficit/offshoring crisis, including by addressing currency manipulation, enforcing U.S. trade laws and taking other measures.

“As well as helping voters analyze candidates actual policy positions vs. the sometimes heated rhetoric, the candidates’ responses also provide the starting point for the policy changes each has committed to implementing if he or she is elected president,” said Ploeser.

imagesThe Iowa Fair Trade Campaign statement notes that “Current corporate-dominated trade policies have failed Iowa and the nation.” It describes briefly some of the damage now being wrought on jobs, wages, family farm incomes and product and food safety by current policies.

“After 13 years, we have seen that the NAFTA model doesn’t mean more jobs, higher wages, or a cleaner environment – in Iowa, Mexico, or anywhere elsewhere,” the statement continues. “To improve the lives of workers and the poor, not just the wealthy and the powerful – here and around the world – we need an entirely new set of rules and institutions.”

The negative effects of current trade and globalization policies has proved an election priority to Iowans and recent polling shows that economic concerns have now risen above Iraq as priority. During the 2006 election, 26 congressional NAFTA-CAFTA-supporting incumbents were defeated by fair trade challengers nationwide . In Iowa, two GOP House seats were taken by Democratic challengers who focused their campaigns on their opponents’ support for more-of-the-same trade policies and called for a new trade model. In Iowa’s First District Fairtrade-bananas-007open seat race following the retirement of Jim Nussle, Rep. Bruce Braley beat a GOP candidate whose support for NAFTA was so vocal that the GOP labeled the race a NAFTA rematch. In Iowa District 2, Rep. Dave Loebsack beat Rep. Jim Leach a long time consistent pro NAFTA-CAFTA-WTO supporter. A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll of Iowa Democrats conducted in September found that by 42% to 33% they favored a candidate who believes trade pacts hurt the U.S. economy over one who believes they benefit the economy.

“Too often global trade policy is reduced into vague soundbites about protecting American jobs and enforcing U.S. laws,” said State Senator Joe Bolkcom, (D-Iowa City), who is also staff with Working Families Win-Iowa, one of the Fair Trade Statement signatories. “These candidate responses move beyond soundbites and hopefully allow citizens to understand whether candidates are serious about changing the NAFTA model that has done so much damage to Iowa.”

Check Here to View Complied Candidate Statements. To receive the full candidate statements by email, contact iowafairtrade@gmail.com

Visit www.iowafairtrade.org to see the candidates’ detailed positions and read the full text of the Iowa Fair Trade Campaign statement.

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