Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Snowe gets it right on trade, Collins undecided

Max Schlobohm, coordinator of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign, sends this report:

Yesterday, Senator Olympia Snowe announced her opposition to CAFTA during the Senate Finance committee mock mark up of the agreement. The Maine Fair Trade Campaign and all of our allies have been working for the last year to pressure Sen. Snowe to publicly oppose CAFTA. Everyone’s efforts calling, writing, attending public hearings & pressuring Sen. Snowe made the real difference. Senator Snowe’s staff told us that Sen. Snowe had been getting “an incredible amount of pressure against CAFTA from within Maine.” They said, “they had never had this much opposition to a trade agreement from within the state.” In a conversation one of our contacts had with Sen. Snowe this past weekend, the Senator noted the “stiff opposition to CAFTA in Maine.” This is great work that we all should be really proud of. And we really made the difference because Sen. Snowe’s staff also told us that she was getting “unbelievable pressure from the Administration to support CAFTA.” Our grassroots opposition & pressure won out! Great work, everyone. This is a huge victory!

He asks that we call and thank Snowe. (Sigh.) Augusta office: 622-8292.

Despite Snowe's vote, the committee passed the enabling legislation by 11-9. Schlobohm continues:

The very close committee vote does continue to show the difficulty CAFTA is having in Congress. The administration is pushing forward on CAFTA with the hopes of bringing it to a vote in Congress before the August recess. Things will really be heating up over the next month and we will need to keep our pressure up. We can now focus all of our energy on Sen. Susan Collins, who still remains undecided on CAFTA. Our goal has always been to have Maine’s entire Congressional delegation oppose CAFTA. We have one more to go so we will definitely be asking you to call & write again soon.

Will keep you posted.

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