WASHINGTON - August 6 -
Anytime you see major legislation railroaded through Congress in the middle of
the night and then see President Bush’s same corporate buddies, who were
allegedly being punished for bad behavior last week, all wildly celebrating this
bill’s signing this week, you know it’s really bad news for most of
It is a great irony that
Bush’s desperation for a political win to get off the defensive about the
corporate criminals who are among his big campaign contributors was satisfied
today by signing legislation that promotes globally the same extreme deregulation
of basic consumer safeguards in accounting, energy services and more that has
cost millions of Americans their jobs and retirement savings.
The usual corporate special
interests will repeat the tired chant about how Fast Track will be good for us,
yet the trade pacts generated under the Fast Track model have resulted in a huge,
economy-slowing, job-killing U.S. trade deficit, wages that have not caught up
to the 1970s, more unsafe and uninspected imported food and an array of environmental
and other important public interest laws being attacked and weakened.
The movement against the
corporate globalization Fast Track promotes grows broader every week, with this
legislation universally opposed by every U.S. environmental and consumer organization,
a wide span of religious denominations, small business groups, the NAACP, the
entire U.S. labor movement, the National Organization for Women, and many other
groups representing the majority of Americans.
The power of the opposition
to the Fast Track agenda and the uncertain fate of future pacts is made clear
by the fact that post 9-11, with the public scared and distracted and a huge corporate
campaign being waged, it was necessary for a wartime president to come to Capitol
Hill to personally troll for votes before a trade bill stalled for two years could
be rammed through Congress by a 2-vote margin in the middle of the night.