Portland Central America Solidarity Committee
616 E. Burnside
Portland, Oregon 97214
tel: 503-236-7916 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
September 27, 2004
CONTACT: JASON WALLACH
Constituents Urge Congressman Blumenauer to Declare Opposition to the
Dominican Republic--Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA)
4:30 pm, September 30th, 2004
Lloyd Center Max Station
A rambunctious group of Congressman Earl Blumenauer's constituents will gather at the Lloyd Center Max Station Sept. 30 at 4:30 pm and parade to his office at 729 N.E. Oregon St. to draw attention to Cong. Blumenauer's refusal to state a public position over the proposed Dominican Republic--Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA).
DR-CAFTA was negotiated by trade representatives from the US, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua and signed by President Bush and five Central American Presidents last May 28. The Dominican Republic recently "docked" on to the agreement, which must pass the US Congress un-amended to take effect.
"Earl says he doesn't know how he'll vote on The Central American Free Trade Agreement, but this Agreement is based on the failed NAFTA model and will give corporations more power to move Oregon jobs to countries that don't respect workers rights or damage the environment. CAFTA will do irreparable harm to working families in Oregon and in Central America. Why is Earl undecided about that?" said Chelsea Blake, with the Cross-Border Labor Organizing Coalition.
Blake and others point to National Administrative Office (NAO, the official NAFTA monitoring body) data that shows 766,000 US manufacturing jobs lost to ten years of NAFTA, 52,000 of those in Oregon. In Mexico, official data shows that US-owned factories, known as maquilas, created 545,859 jobs, offering an average wage of $6.50 per day, without adequate healthcare, vacation or overtime pay.
Blumenauer's constituents note that Congresswoman Darlene Hooley recently declared her opposition to CAFTA, citing concerns over workers' rights and safety. They vowed to continue their efforts until Mr. Blumenauer makes his CAFTA position public.