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March 2004 Resolutions to Action Leadership Conference of Women Religious

March 2004 Resolutions to Action Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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Published by: Leadership Conference of Women Religious on Jun 17, 2010
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LCWR Global Concerns Committee
Volume 13, Number 1March 2004
Striving for Fair TradeOpposition to Unjust Trade Agreements
by Linda Scheckelhoff, OSF 
To Action 
Resolutions to Action
is an occasionalpublication of the Global ConcernsCommittee of the Leadership Conference ofWomen Religious (LCWR). Members of thecommittee are: Mary Brigid Clingman, OP;Toni Harris, OP; Barbara Moore, CSJ; PeggyNolan, BVM; Peggy Sause, OP; Aline MarieSteuer, CSC; and Marie Lucey, OSF, staff.Please address correspondence to:LCWR8808 Cameron StreetSilver Spring, MD 20910301-588-4955fax: 301-587-4575mlucey@lcwr.org
he FTAA is essentially anexpansion of the NorthAmerican Free Trade Agree-ment (NAFTA) into CentralAmerica, South America and theCaribbean. NAFTA, a tradeagreement between Canada,Mexico and the United States, tookeffect in 1994 and has devastatingeffects on working families and theenvironment. In the United Stateswhere many of our sisters serve inparishes, schools, hospitals, clinics,social services, etc. they have seenthousands of people lose their jobs because the factories have movedto Mexico or another countrywhere labor is cheaper. More than765,000 jobs have disappeared.In Mexico, our missionary sisterstell us that manufacturing wagesfell 21 percent from 1995 to 1999,thus increasing the percentage ofMexicans living in poverty. Theenvironment has suffered, especiallyin the maquiladora zones along theMexico-US border where the in-creased pollution and improperdisposal of chemical wastes havedramatically raised the rates ofhepatitis and birth defects.NAFTA has been a disaster for smallfarmers in Mexico. The price theyreceive for their corn has plummeted45 percent in three years asagribusiness giants dump theirsubsidized corn there. Since NAFTAis definitely not working, why expandit to the rest of the Western Hemi-sphere?In late November 2003 the tradeministers of 34 countries fromCanada to Tierra del Fuego, exclud-ing Cuba, met in Miami, FL tofinalize the terms for the Free TradeArea of the Americas. Much to thedisappointment of the United States,an agreement was not reached because the negotiators were unable
 At the LCWR national assembly in August 2003 a resolution was ratified to oppose theFree Trade Area of the Americas: “As members of LCWR we oppose the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas(FTAA) because of its inevitable negative impact on people who are poor, and on the environment.”
 The dignity of the human personand working for the commongood must be foremost in alleconomic dealings.

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