Agricultural Fair, Profitable 
Trade, not Free Trade

Whereas proponents of free trade tend to over-estimate the potential benefits of U.S. agricultural exports in virtually every proposed trade agreement, and

Whereas the trade balance of the United States for agricultural products has shrunk from a surplus of $27 billion in 1996 to $4.6 billion last year, and competitive imports are outpacng exports so rapidly that the United States may become a net agriculture importer in the very near future, and

Whereas it is unfair for American producers to compete with foreign entities who do not meet environmental standards and health and labor standards, but who do manipulate their currency, and

Whereas free trade agreements, such as the Central American, Australian, and Oman agreements, are all continuations of a failed trade policy, and

Whereas Presidential Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) expired on July 1, 2007, and said TPA forfeits Congressís rights to amend U.S. trade legislation, and

Whereas the United States has received imports of contaminated pet food, livestock feed, human food, toothpaste, childrenís toys, and more, and

Whereas rapidly rising unchecked food imports and an inadequate import inspection system jeopardizes consumer confidence in the quality and safety of imported food products, and

Whereas the lack of fairness in todayís trade agreements, which do not require our international competitors to meet the same high production standards, perpetuates a race to the bottom of who can produce a product the cheapest,

Now therefore be it resolved that the Texas Democratic Party urge the National Democratic Party work with the United States Congress to ensure that fair trade agreements address all factors of trade, including environmental standards, health, and labor standards, and currency manipulation, and

Therefore be it further resolved that fair trade agreements must address persistent global overproduction capacity, ensure net U. S. agricultural export expansion and increased market share, and seek coordination and enforcement of competition policies, and

Therefore be it further resolved that the Presidential Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which forfeits Congressís rights to amend U. S. trade legislation, should not be renewed, and

Therefore be it further resolved that a new mechanism to authorize trade negotiations should be formulated to ensure Congress exercises its constitutional authority to set the terms of trade and in order to prioritize the interests of Americans and the future of our communities in todayís era of increasing globalization, and

Therefore be it further resolved that trade agreements with Panama, Peru, and Colombia should not be ratified until the agreements adequately address human rights violations as well as labor, environmental, and health standards.

Texas Farmers Union, P.O. Box 738, Sweetwater, Tx 79556