Alert! Tell Congress and Obama to take a stand today: corporations should not sue countries!
PresidentObama will be visiting El Salvador on March 22 to discuss new bilateraleconomic programs for El Salvador's struggling economy. While the US offers economic assistance with one hand, US mining corporations are suing El Salvador for $200 million dollars with the other. Pacific Rim and Commerce Grouphave invoked the so-called "investor protections" provisions of the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), claiming to be owed enormous sums of "lost profits" simply because the Salvadoran government and people have rejected their mining permits in defense of the environment.
Coincidentally, the next phase of the Pacific Rim's lawsuit begins March 23 at a World Bank tribunal - while President Obama is in El Salvador. Representatives Baldwin (WI), DeFazio (OR), Payne (NJ) and Michaud (ME) have authored a letter to deliver to President Obama before his state visit to El Salvador, calling on him to:
- Fulfill his campaign promise and strike the corporate "right" to sue El Salvador or any other country from US trade agreements
- Support El Salvador's legal battle against the Pacific Rim and Commerce Group lawsuits
- Supportcomprehensive investigations by the Salvadoran government to uncover the perpetrators of violence and threats against El Salvador's environmental defenders
Take action and help us reach our goal of 50 Representatives signing on!
1. Call TODAY and ask your Representative to sign this letter opposing the CAFTA lawsuits against El Salvador (read letter here). Call the House Switchboard at (202) 224-3121and ask to be connected to your Congressperson's office (all you need is your zip code) or look up your Congressperson's information here. You can use the call script below.
2. Email your Representative and ask her to sign the letter today!
Sample Call Script:
"Hello, may I be connected with the person who handles trade?
[Onceconnected] My name is ____ and I am a constituent. I encourage Rep. X to sign onto the letter co-authored by Rep. Baldwin, DeFazio, Payne and Michaud to President Obama on the lawsuits against El Salvador, based inthe "investor protections" chapter of the US-Central America Free TradeAgreement or CAFTA. When Obama was a candidate he promised to remove the right of corporations to sue countries from US trade agreements, especially when public health is at stake. As president, he has failed to address these "investor protections" and now the government and people of El Salvador are facing two unjust lawsuits from a US and a Canadian mining company for their decision to protect the environment. These companies are intent on taking money from El Salvador since they have been denied the "right" to gold and they are a using US trade provisions to do it. I want Congress to take a stand against this excessive corporate privilege and send the message to Obama before he visits El Salvador that corporations should not be allowed to sue countries!
If your office is interested in signing, please contact Amber Shipley at Tammy Baldwin's office. Thank you."