Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 18:57:18 -0700 (PDT)
From: National Radio Project <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [BRC-NEWS] CALL NOW - URGENT - Africa "Recolonization" Act
Africa "Recolonization" Act
9 June 1999
Please drop what you are doing and make two quick phone calls --
immediately! The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is coming up
for mark up and vote in the House Ways and Means Committee at 3:00 pm ET
(noon PST) on Thursday. Please please make two calls today and ask five of
your friends to do the same.
Xavier Becerra (democrat, Los Angeles) 202-225-6235.
His trade staffer's name is Deborah Dixon.
He voted for AGOA last year, and hasn't cosponsored the
HOPE bill. Ask Deborah to tell him to vote against AGOA
and to speak out adamantly against the bill.
Pete Stark (democrat, Fremont) 202-225-5065. His trade staffer is Ann Raffaelli
He voted against AGOA last year and is a cosponsor of
HOPE. Ask Ann to be sure he continues to oppose AGOA and
to stand up and furiously oppose this bill.
According to Public Citizen it is not clear why they are
bringing the bill to a mark up. One explanation is that
the supporters of the corporate Africa Bill want to test
the waters to see if they have the necessary votes and
BACKGROUND INFO; CALL CONGRESS TODAY - NO RECOLONIZATION OF AFRICA - YES H.O.P.E.!!
The Africa Trade and Development Act, to be introduced to the House Ways
and Means Committee Feb 3rd, is substantially the same bill known in the
105th congress as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, which rolled
together some of the worst elements of NAFTA, the WTO, the IMF and the
NAFTA: Provides duty free quota free access for textiles; result US job
loss. US textile workers, primarily low income women of color, are among
those who can least afford to lose their jobs. Additionally, there is no
requirement that imported textiles be the product of African labor or that
manufacturing company owneship be part African. This opens Africa as a
transhipment point for Chinese-made goods or the establishment of Asian
work camps in Africa similar to those in Saipan and the Northern Mariana
WTO: Requires African countries actively seek entry into the WTO and
domestic laws deemed out of compliance with WTO be rolled back
immediately. Laws that could be repealed are those designed to protect the
environment and workers rights.
IMF: Imposes more harsh economic austerity measures including, radical
privatizations of state run industries.Wtih no preference for domestic
buyers. Privatization often results in higher consumer prices, rendering
services unaffordable by the poor. The loss of income to the government
sector may cause further cutbacks in government services like healthcare
MAI: Demands unlimited investment rights for foreign corporations, thereby
removing a country's ability to direct investment towards particular
sectors. This undermines a country=92s right to determine its course of
In addition the bill creates special eligibility requirements to be
reviewed annually, that African countries must meet in order to continue
to receive existing GSP trade status and existing aid. The bill does not
increase aid, nor does it provide debt relief. Instead it shifts US Africa
policy to a privatized trickle down plan. It sets conditions favorable for
multinational corporations to take over Africa's economies and relies on
corporations to "create" wealth and development. A model that is a proven
failure, creating instead increasing income disparity
HOPE for Africa
But Jesse Jackson Jr has ensured that there is HOPE for Africa. The HOPE
for Africa Act,
recognizes the fundamental importance of DEBT CANCELLATION, in order for
African countries to be able to itneract on a more even playing field with
the US and in order for african countries to make essential investments in
their own development and infrastructure.
acknowledges that each african country is a SOVEREIGN entity with the
right to direct its own growth.
provides DUTY FREE QUOTA FREE ACCESS for African goods and products that
are not produced in the US and will therefore not compete with US made
shifts a percentage of the duty free quota free access to US markets now
assigned to Chinese textiles to AFRICAN TEXTILES. The HOPE bill requires
80% African labor in the production of these textiles and 60% African
ownerhsip of the manufacturing firm.
requires foreign corporations operating in Africa to pay a living wage
and operate by the same LABOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS as they do in
their home countries. Failure to do so results in barring of the products
of the offending corporation from import to the US.
Call your congressional representative and ask to speak to the staff
person responsible for trade issues. Here are some talking points:
Are you aware of the Corporate bill on Africa--AGOA and does the office
Ask them not to support AGOA. It is bad for Africans and Americans.
Inform them that a large coalition representing labor, environment,
african rights, social and economic justice from both the US and Africa
through a participatory and grassroots process developed a bill that will
be good for Africans and Americans. Jesse Jackson Jr is cosponsoring the
bill known as the HOPE for Africa Act. Ask the office to support the HOPE
Act and oppose AGOA.
The number to call is (202) 224-3121. That will connect you to the
congressional switchboard. Then ask for the congressional office to which
you want to be connected.
Economic Justice Now http://www.economicjustice.org
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