Despite hearing from tens of thousands of people throughout WA State, our entire Congressional delegation (dems and reps alike), with the noted exception of Rep. McDermott’s one lone vote against Colombia, voted ‘yes’ on all three FTAs with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
South Korea passed the House 278-151 and the Senate 83-15, Colombia 262-167 and 66-33 and Panama 300-129 and 77-22.
In the House, Democrats Smith, Inslee, Larsen and Dicks were 4 of only 31 Democrats who supported Colombia. They stood against their own party to support an agreement that by all accounts does little public good for WA and enormous destruction for communities in Colombia and for labor organizers putting their lives on the line for basic rights to organize.
The Fair Trade flag is at half-mast since these votes took place a week ago (Oct. 12th) and were signed into law yesterday by President Obama without fanfare. The Wall Street Journal even commented that perhaps he only wanted a few CEOs to know. Incredible that 3 years after promises to renegotiate NAFTA this is where the US is on trade!
However we are undaunted and want to deeply appreciate everyone who called, and called and called again! and wrote, rallied, bannered and met with our elected leaders to explain why with a historical legacy of failed trade deals, an economic down-turn and public opinion in favor of fair trade-they should vote NO! There is no doubt that they heard you! Instead our leaders choose not to listen to us and that is why people are in the street because they do not feel represented. It is our elected leaders’ job to represent civil society and just not corporate interest. In these votes they have ‘jobs on their hands’ and worse.