November 8, 2006
Free Traders Sent Packing
The trade issue, highlighted often by Rapid Response, turned out to be a much more important
issue for voters in the election than many wanted to admit. Many free traders, who have
actively supported the NAFTA model trade agreements like CAFTA, as well as fast track
trading authority for the President were beaten across the board by candidates who stand for fair
trade and protections for workers. Also, candidates co-sponsoring the anti-sweatshop
legislation that Rapid Response has taken action on, fared very well.
Rapid Response expects the free-trade leadership of the Congress to quickly bring at least
one NAFTA-like trade bill up for a vote in the next couple of weeks before the new
Congress can be sworn in. We expect this to be the Peru Free Trade Agreement. Be ready
to take action quickly if this happens. Rapid Response will keep you informed!
At least 15 House of Representatives free-trade incumbents were beaten by fair
trade challengers with another 10 races still too close to call.
5 Senate free-trade incumbents were beaten by fair trade challengers with 1 race
still too close to call in VA.
Even in a year of huge Democratic party gains in the Congress, even Republican
members who have a record of standing for fair trade did just fine. In fact, such
legislators as Sen. Snowe (R-ME), Rep. Goode (R- VA), Rep. Jones (R-NC) and
Rep. Paul (R-TX) were elected despite loud criticism from their own party for
their pro-worker votes for fair trade not free-trade.
Every single co-sponsor of the anti-sweatshop legislation (HR 5635) who was
seeking re-election in the House of Representatives WON!
Every co-sponsor of the anti-sweatshop legislation in the Senate (S 3485) who was
up for election also won as did Bernie Sanders (VT) and Ben Cardin (MD) who
were co-sposnsoring House members vying for Senate seats. The only co-sponsor
to lose was House co-sponsor Harold Ford (TN) who lost his bid for the Senate.
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