Whereas, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has caused net jobs losses in every U.S. state and District of Columbia, for a combined total of over one million lost U.S. jobs, including almost 40,000 lost jobs in Florida alone; and 

Whereas, NAFTA also has a proven record of negative impacts in Mexico, as under NAFTA the median industrial wage has lost 10% of its value and more than 1.3 million Mexican farmers have lost their livelihood and migrated to the cities and to the borders looking for jobs in the maquiladoras; and 

Whereas, the U.S. Congress is currently considering urgently needed immigration reform policies to address the status of millions of undocumented workers in the United States, but has not included in the discussion any recognition of the fact that undocumented migration to the U.S. from Mexico has more than doubled since NAFTA was enacted, not to mention the fact that increased U.S. border policing and militarization since NAFTA has lead to more than 2700 deaths from failed border crossing in desperate attempts to seek the American dream; and 

Whereas, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), instead of investigating ways to fix the deeply troubling problems with NAFTA, continues to push for is unmodified expansion, including through the passage by a one-vote margin July 27, 2005 of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA); and 

Whereas, the USTR has negotiated new trade agreements modeled on the NAFTA and CAFTA agreements with the South American countries of Peru and Colombia; and  

Whereas, like NAFTA and CAFTA, these new agreements fail to included adequate enforcement for violations of internationally recognized labor and environmental standards; and  

Whereas, this failure to include enforceable international labor standards comes despite the fact that:

  • Over 2,000 labor union members have been assassinated in Colombia since 1990, including 75 in 2005 alone, and the violence continues as Mr. Daniel Cortez, a member of the Sintraelecol electrical workers union was shot to death by armed assailants on April 2, 2006 for his union organizing activities; and

  • The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the U.S. State Department have published reports of extensive child labor practices in Peru; and

  • Anti-union labor regulations that have led to a severe decline in unionization rates, so that now the number of private-sector unionized workers in Peru is only one-sixth of what it was 20 years ago; and

  • President Alejandro Toledo’s public statements last year that he would support a trade agreement that would included an enforceable commitment to adopt and comply with ILO core labor standards—a step that was immediately rejected by House Republican Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas,

Whereas, the U.S.-Peru and Colombia agreements include the same foreign investor rights modeled after NAFTA that allow foreign corporations to bring actions against governments that pass environmental laws that might reduce corporate profits, despite the fact that new environmental laws are desperately needed in the Andean countries to allay to rapid destruction of the upper Amazon basin, which is the most biodiverse area on the planet; and  

Whereas, well-documented reports from the Colombian government, as well as statements from Peruvian farm organizations and religious leaders express certainty that the agricultural rules included in the new agreements will push hundreds of thousands of small farmers into bankruptcy — as happened in Mexico after NAFTA — and that the pressure to feed their families would forces these farmers to grow more coca for cocaine production or join illegal armed groups, leading to an increase in violence and insecurity in the regions; and  

Whereas, LULAC joined the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement, on which the U.S.-Peru and U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreements are based, and none of the problems cited by LULAC with regards to CAFTA — from labor and environmental standards to agricultural provisions to investor rules — have been resolved in the texts of the new agreements,  

NOw Therefore, be it resolved, that LULAC calls upon our state-level organizations and local chapters to educate members about the negative impacts of NAFTA and CAFTA and the threat that the U.S.-Peru and U.S.-Colombia free trade agreements pose to workers, health and prosperity and that LULAC supports the efforts of fair trade advocates to defeat passage of these agreements; and be it finally resolved that LULAC urges members of congress to reject the U.S.-Peru and U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreements and work for fair trade agreements that raise the standards of living for labor and protects our environmental standards.


Adopted this 1st day of July 2006.

Rosa Rosales
LULAC National President

LULAC  l  2000 L Street, NW, Suite 610  l  Washington, DC 20036  l  (202) 833-6130  Fax: (202) 833-6135