28
Jul
2004

Say no to CAFTA

LOIS BOOTH, Canterbury - Letter

July 27. 2004 8:54AM

Recently several New Hampshire towns have struggled to protect their groundwater from depletion by huge corporate water exports. The Concord Monitor recommends a moratorium on large-scale water withdrawals until the state has developed a plan that shares this public resource fairly and takes future water needs into account.

Sounds wise. We expect our democracy to allow us to plan the use of public resources wisely. We could be in for a shock. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, water is considered a commodity to be freely bought and sold, and corporations can sue governments for the loss of any projected future profits caused by government regulations. Their estimate of future profits can run into the billions.

The case would not go to the courts. A small appointed trade committee decides each case in secret. Already governments have been forced to rescind environmental regulations in the face of huge penalties set by the trade committee.

Under NAFTA corporate profits can trump democracy and public need. We need fair trade, not the kind of free trade that gives corporations the power to prevent sensible and important government regulations.

Corporate leaders now want Congress to approve CAFTA, a Central American extension of NAFTA. I hope our elected officials will say no.

LOIS BOOTH
Canterbury


Informant: Arnie Alpert



Article title: Concord Monitor - Say no to CAFTA, LOIS BOOTH,
Canterbury - Letter
URL:
//www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2004407270334
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