Yesterday, I pointed out a terrific column by my good friend Harold Meyerson about how we have a chance to really change the power balance in Congress when it comes to corporate-written "free" trade deals. Meyerson's piece, like an earlier post I wrote last year, focused on how there are a number of terrific Senate candidates who could win this year - and how their wins would create a very powerful bloc of Senate votes in support of seriously reforming our current trade policy. Now, there's another piece of important news: the Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC) this week launched a new federal PAC designed to support political candidates that are serious about reforming our current trade policy. They will be supporting these candidates with financial help and campaign organizers.
In launching the new PAC, CTC has announced the first set of candidates it will be supporting. Check out the list here and then consider contributing to either one of the candidates, or the PAC. And remember, the passage of these corporate-written sellout trade deals is not just some wonkish issue that no one cares about. As CTC notes in its press release, fighting for trade reform is not just good policy, it's great politics, too:
"Recent polling data indicates trade is a top voter concern: A June Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll found that three-quarters of registered voters favor candidates proposing a new trade policy that enforces labor and environmental regulations. A June Gallup poll found that 53% of Americans said they personally know someone who has been laid off in the past six months. A November 2005 Pew poll found that protecting American jobs is nearly as important as defending the country against terrorism (86% terrorism, 84% jobs). Meanwhile, between a majority and two-thirds of Americans oppose every trade agreement, including NAFTA and the 2005 Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), according to Lake Research Partners."
"Free" trade's religious fundamentalists like Henry Paulson, Bob Rubin and billionaire columnist Tom Friedman can go on all they like about the world supposedly being "flat" and about how the trade deals they write have supposedly helped ordinary Americans. But throughout the country, people realize they've been lied to on the issue of trade for far too long. And with the help of your contributions to CTC's new PAC, we're finally going to get a bloc of lawmakers in Congress who put their foot down and starts reforming our trade policy so that it works not just for the Paulsons, the Rubins and the Friedmans - but for everyone.