GLOBALIZATION AND TRADE

» Alternatives To Corporate Globalization

» Democracy, Sovereignty and Federalism

» Deregulation and Access to Services

» Import Safety, Environment and Health

» Jobs, Wages and Economic Outcomes

» NAFTA, WTO, Other Trade Pacts

» Other Issues

Trade Data Center

One-stop shop for searchable
trade databases, case lists & more

Eyes on Trade

Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch blog on globalization and trade

Connect with GTW

What's New - Global Trade Watch


Buy our book: The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority - Updated and Expanded Edition

View 'What's New' Archives

Senate Fight Against AGOA

The "African Growth and Opportunity" Act adopts the NAFTA formula for Africa: giving foreign corporations broad new rights that will increase their capacity to profit from control of African resources, while doing nothing to ensure that the benefits actually accrue to African nations and peoples. This NAFTA for Africa legislation also contains harsh eligibility rules that will force African nations to alter their economic policies and laws to suit the needs of foreign speculators and the dictates of the International Monetary Fund - despite the IMF's dismal record in the region. Both the Africa bill and the CBI NAFTA expansion are highly controversial back home. The May 2000 vote was one of the unpopular pre-election trade votes many Representatives cast. The lopsided final vote represents a number of Representatives who switched their votes to support the Africa-CBI package as a way to balance their imminent announcements of opposition to PNTR for China.

While Pro-Africa, AIDS, religious, labor and environmental groups opposed these bills, no lobbying was done on them for months with citizen group and labor focus shifted to the China vote.

For four years, public opposition beat the corporations trying to get this bundle of special interest trade bills through Congress.?In passing AGOA-CBI, the special interests won -- but only after trashing the democratic process by rushing a vote on a package of special interest trade measures that Congress was not able to review in advance. Indeed, many did not realize that a 23-country NAFTA expansion and a special deal for Chiquita banana was attached to the Africa bill.




BACKGROUND: The AGOA-CBI conference report (the bill which was voted May 4, 2000) was not filed until 10 A.M. the day of the vote and no summary was prepared before the vote. The rule requiring a bill to be available 24 hours before a vote was waived. Copies of the legislation literally were not available for Members until after the debate started. Members went to the floor thinking they were voting on an Africa bill, not knowing that a 23-country NAFTA expansion and a pile of special deals was attatched: a special Chiquita banana trade deal, a special wool suit-makers deal and a special Israeli apparel import bill.

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.