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Oct. 1, 2010

Public Citizen Launches Trade Data Center

New Tool Illustrates the Impact of Trade Policy on Jobs, the Environment and Your Community; Contains Previously Unavailable Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Are you a reporter writing about a local factory closing? Are you writing about trade as an election issue, jobs, the economy or the trade deficit but don’t know where to get good information or how to localize it? Look no further.

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch today launched its Trade Data Center, a new and exciting tool for researching and illustrating the impacts of trade policy on local communities. It’s free and contains previously unavailable information packaged in an easy-to-understand, customizable and user-friendly format.

“Whether you are a seasoned trade hand or just beginning to look into globalization, or whether you are for or against fair trade, the Trade Data Center will have something for you,” said Travis McArthur, trade and finance researcher for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and lead Trade Data Center creator. “We hope that this will serve as a resource for journalists, policymakers, researchers, students – anyone with an interest in the impact of trade policy. It really is your one-stop-shop, and we’ll be updating it frequently with new features.”

The Trade Data Center is available at http://www.citizen.org/TradeDataCenter.

Through extensive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), innovative computer algorithms and detailed information about contracts and siting of corporate headquarters, Public Citizen is able to make the following information available for the first time:

• Trade-related job loss data that is mapped and searchable by congressional district, county, metro area, state, company name and more, as certified by the Department of Labor;
• Information about foreign countries whose products caused these job losses;
• Information about workers and companies that claimed trade-related job losses but that were denied adjustment assistance by the DOL; and
• A map of the operations of multinational corporations in the eight countries that are currently negotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Members of Congress and the public have requested that the Obama administration not include controversial North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)-style investor rights in this deal. If these rights are included, however, this map gives a sense of the sheer quantity and geographic reach of corporations that would be able to use these rights to attack public interest regulations in the U.S. and abroad.

The Trade Data Center also consolidates other trade data tools that Public Citizen has made available in the past. These include:

• Comprehensive maps of corporations that could abuse the harmful investor rights under the Korea Free Trade Agreement (unless it is amended from the terms negotiated by the George W. Bush administration);
• Directory and details of NAFTA investor attacks on environmental and public interest legislation in the U.S., Mexico and Canada;
• Comprehensive congressional voting records on trade deals from 1990 to the present;
• Trade policy positions and videos of more than 400 congressional and presidential candidates from the 2006 and 2008 elections; and
• A database of current and proposed U.S. service sector commitments under the World Trade Organization agreements, with an explanation of their implications for environmental and public health policy.

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