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[greenyes] CAFTA, NAFTA - National ZW Committee for Sierra Club


Good points. Just to point out the Sierra Club is not against trade
agreements. We just want trade agreements that protect the environment
and to be careful of trade agreements that will prevent the US and the
states from enforcing their own environmental laws. Since CAFTA has not
been signed (ratified?) there is still time to make changes in the
agreement(s) that protect the environment... and who knows, try to add
what you have suggested below.

Right now National SC is working up a list of how CAFTA might effect the
recycling world. I will post it as soon as I get it. And I will forward
your comments to National SC staffers who work on Global Trade Issues.


Ann Schneider
Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter Zero Waste Chair

Just an FYI, I've been given the go ahead by Sierra Club National to
create a national Sierra Club group to help develop a zero waste policy
for the Club, so if any of you GRRNers are also Sierra Club members and
want to help me modify existing ZW policies for the SC and then to
develop a strategy to educate all our chapters in the US and
internationally, let me know. We have no budget for conference calls
yet, but if I can prove that we have a core group across the country then
I can ask for money so we can develop this project.

I am working on somehow bringing Zero Waste to the first ever Sierra Club
convention to be held in San Francisco this September. I may only get a
table for materials but will be contacting GRRN for help with materials
for this opportunity to reach thousands of Sierra Club activists.

On Tue, 10 May 2005 14:16:52 -0700 "Guzowski, Roger A"
<guzowski@no.address> writes:
> For folks sick of seeing my philosophical rants, delete this message
> now...
> It seems to me that our current approach to fighting the ill effects
> of Free Trade Agreements is a lot like trying to stuff an
> already-deployed air bag back into the steering wheel. With
> globalization, the push for an equal trading platform is here.
> Rather than combating free trade, I think we need to look at using
> free trade to protect the environment. I propose the following:
> *
> Lawsuits should be persued against every FTA-member nation
> that provides any form of government subsidy relating to the
> extraction of natural resources and against every corporation or
> business that takes advantage of such subsidies on the grounds that
> such subsidies are a violation of free trade.
> *
> Lawsuits should be persued against every FTA member nation
> that provides any sort of government or legal protection to the
> owners of businesses from the repercussions of the actions of those
> businesses. I think such a mechanism should be used to combat the
> very government-supported legislation that allows corporations and
> limited liability partnerships in which the owners of businesses are
> somehow absolved of the actions of those businesses. Such
> government interference is a violation of free trade.
> *
> Lawsuits should be persued against every FTA-member nation
> that provides legal litigation caps (read government sponsored
> protections) which limit a businesses liability for damages,
> especially those with wide-reaching impacts such as oil spills and
> hazardous waste dumping. Such government interference is a
> violation of free trade.
> * Lawsuits should be persued against every FTA-member nation
> that provides government support or subsidy for the transport of
> commercial products or feedstocks. Such government interference is a
> violation of free trade.
> With globalization, there does need to be a platform for
> international trade. If nations and businesses decide that such a
> platform should be one based on trade free from government
> interference, that should be universally so. Our current system is
> not free trade. It is trade based on the selective removal of
> government programs.
> I maintain that in a system free from all government interference,
> both subsidy and regulation, the economic system is one that
> supports the conservation of natural resources and environmental
> preservation. To that degree, I support free trade.
> However, what we currently have in the various "free trade"
> agreements is not a system of free trade. What we have is a system
> of selective regulation. Rather than combat trade agreements and
> wish they weren't there, I think we need to accept global trade
> agreements and work to police them. Regardless of whether the
> platform for global free trade agreements is free trade, selective
> regulation, or full government control, we need to work with that
> system to ensure that it is done in a way that protects the
> environment.
> Just my cent and a half worth.
> -Roger Guzowski
> ________________________________
> From: crra_members@no.address on behalf of Ann Schneider
> Sent: Tue 5/10/2005 11:23 AM
> To: crra_members@no.address; greenyes@no.address
> Subject: [CRRA] CAFTA, NAFTA can it block recycle content and green
> purchasing ordinances
> Congress will be voting on the Central American Free Trade Act
> any day now. I attended a Sierra Club workshop on the
> environmental
> effects of CAFTA and was told that a company or country could file
> a
> protest or lawsuit against a government agency that has a preference
> for
> purchasing green products, e.g., post consumer paper or green
> computers.
> These lawsuits would be like the one Methanex, a Canadian firm,
> filed
> against California for banning MTBE, a gasoline additive. They are
> suing
> for $970 million over the phase out of MTBE as an unfair trade
> practice.
> California is also being sued for a law that requires mining
> companies to
> return the land to its original state. And Gov. Schwarzenegger
> vetoed a
> recycled tire in asphalt bill because it could have violated trade
> agreements.
> Is anyone in the recycling world following CAFTA and it's potential
> effects on recycling?
> And do you know how your Congress person is voting on this issue?
> Two of
> my local Congress people, Anna Eshoo (D) Palo Alto and Zoe Lofgren
> (D)
> San Jose are possible swing votes on this issue. The Sierra Club
> is
> coordinating "a contact your congress person action" right now and
> you
> may want to check with them to see who the key legislators are for
> this
> vote.
> For more information visit
> Ann Schneider
> Mtn. View, CA
> SchneiderAnn@no.address

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