Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sierra Club Does The Right Thing

Jane Hamsher:

Sierra Club Will Oppose Obama’s NAFTA-Style Free Trade Agreement
By: Jane Hamsher Monday December 6, 2010 8:45 am

According to an email from Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, the organization will release a statement in the next few hours on Obama’s NAFTA-Style Free Trade Deal:
We’re opposed.
Good for the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club opposed the deal when it was negotiated by George Bush in 2007:
Like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Dominican Republic-Central America-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), the investment chapter of this agreement continues to promote off-shoring, and exposes our domestic environmental, zoning, health and other public interest policies to challenge by foreign investors in foreign tribunals. In addition, the procurement rules of this agreement jeopardize our democratically-determined federal and state procurement policies. This means that policies designed to promote clean energy use and reward environmentally-sustainable companies would be vulnerable to challenge in international trade tribunals, even if those policies were developed at the state and local levels.
Those things haven’t changed. But labor secretaries like Hilda Solis have been calling around furiously, trying to get groups to stay quiet and refrain from criticizing the deal — threatening them when necessary, as in the case of the Steelworkers.

It takes guts to get out in front of this when the White House is trying to strong arm people while they take bows with the Chamber of Commerce and Jamie Dimon. High marks for the Sierra Club for showing leadership and being willing to do so.

And so it does.

What's the name of this latest agreement? Let's see... they've used NAFTA. They've used CAFTA. I know... how about KAFKA?

(Full disclosure: a few years ago I served in the local leadership of the Houston Sierra Club. I am not unbiased in this matter!)

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