1. H J Res 27 which gets us out of the WTO will go to the House Floor on Tuesday, June 7th. Congressman Paul urges vitamin consumer's support for this bill.
2. A "Markup" Hearing will be held on CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) in the Senate Finance Committee (http://finance.senate.gov/) on June 14th. CAFTA & the Free Trade Area of the Americas threaten our sovereignty, including The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act which provides us access to dietary supplements. CAFTA + FTAA threaten harmonization of DSHEA to restrictive international Codex regulations.
First a bill is voted on in committee, then if it passes in committee, it goes to the floor of the Senate (or House). A bill must pass both the senate and house before it goes to the President to be signed into law (or vetoed). Bush is "testing the waters" on CAFTA on June 14th in this markup vote. Its very important we sent Congress a strong message in defense of our sovereignty and against CAFTA/FTAA.
If you reside in the states listed below, you may use our Legislative Action Center to easily communicate with your Senator.
If you your senator isn't on the Senate Finance Committee, you can still take action. Please copy and paste the form letter below to send through your Senators' websites or via fax. Alternatively, you may wish to print and fax the letter.
And Congressman ______________________________
At the Senate Finance Committee Markup on June 14th, I Urge Your Opposition to CAFTA for the following reasons:
The WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA and FTAA trade agreements all contain the SPS (Sanitary Phytosanitary Measures) agreement. Article 3 of SPS states:
"To harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary measures on as wide a basis as possible, Members SHALL base their food safety measures on international standards, guidelines or recommendations."
This makes the supposedly voluntary Codex Alimentarius standard for vitamins and minerals MANDATORY for all WTO member nations.
Passage of CAFTA and FTAA would broaden and deepen the scope of the SPS agreement, forcing harmonization of not only our dietary supplement laws to mindless international standards, but it would lead to the creation of a supranational body similar to the EU in our hemisphere, and we oppose this clear threat to US sovereignty.
When the draft text of CAFTA was first made available on January 28th, 2004 the Governors of all 50 States discovered that they were bound by the 2,400 page agreement- being specifically listed in chapter 9. A third have since rescinded their support of CAFTA.
Last fall, a WTO tribunal outlawed Utah's ban on gambling, opening the door to millions of dollars in penalties against all states with anti-gambling restrictions. Antigua had charged that Utah's ban on gambling violated America's obligation not to discriminate against foreigners providing recreational services.
CAFTA includes hundreds of pages of grants of vague authority to foreign tribunals. It wouldn't take long for an activist foreign judge to read his own interpretation into language such as the SPS agreement and force changes to US laws including the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.
In addition to these concerns, NAFTA never lived up to the numerous promises made about it, and our Trade Deficit is worse now than ever, contributing to the weakening of the dollar. There is no reason to expect CAFTA or FTAA do anything more than to FURTHER this negative trend, and lead to the destruction of our nation, and our economy.
WTO tribunals have ruled against the USA in 42 out of 48 cases, many of which were very costly to our economy. I therefore ask you to vote NO on CAFTA and on FTAA, and YES on H J Res 27 which removes the US from the WTO.