Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, in a tight race against Republican Dan Webster, has received the support of the Citizens Trade Campaign.
In a press release, the Citizens Trade Campaign wrote:
Representative Grayson recently cosponsored the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment Act [the TRADE Act, H.R. 3012] to offer a more balanced way to expand trade. This reform legislation lays out a fair way forward, outlining what congress should support – and must oppose — in future globalization policy.
Grayson joined over 140 of his colleagues in cosponsoring the TRADE Act, and has consistently opposed job killing trade deals modeled after the failed North American Free Trade Agreement.
“This is a race that could go either way. We’re interested in seeing [Grayson] back next year to work for fair trade,” Andy Gussert, national director of the Trade Campaign, tells The Florida Independent. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put a target on his head because he supports the TRADE Act and not their agenda.”
According to Campaign Money Watch, “More than 1.4 million jobs were outsourced due to trade policies since 1994 in the nine states in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent nearly $5.7 million on attack ads in Senate races from October 5th to October 12th, 2010. The group also found that more than 184,000 jobs were lost to outsourcing in the 22 congressional districts in which the Chamber has spent $4.8 million on political ads in the same time period.”
That money includes $250,000 the Chamber spent to support Grayon’s Republican opponent Webster.
Shortly after defeating Republican incumbent Ric Keller in the 2008 race to represent District 8, Grayson was quoted in a Public Citizens report:
NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been used to weaken environmental protection in the United States and abroad. The downward pressure on environmental, health and safety standards could increase with completion of bilateral and regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), as well as through the Doha Round of WTO talks. … Regrettably, Congress cannot exercise its normal constitutional powers as a check and balance on the executive with respect to trade agreements because fast-track procedures deny Congress its normal power to make amendments or to conduct a thorough debate.
All 149 legislators who currently support the TRADE Act are Democrats. In Florida, Reps. Corrine Brown, Alcee Hastings, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Kendrick Meek (currently running for the U.S. Senate) support the TRADE Act.
The Citizens Trade Campaign, with over 11 million combined members, “established the TRADE Brigade PAC in 2010 to help elect Congressional candidates who want to reverse our disastrous NAFTA-style trade policy and shape one that protects workers, family farmers, the environment, and our democracy.”
OpenSecrets.org data shows that the Citizens Trade Campaign has not given money to any federal candidates for the 2010 election.
Gussert verified that the group has made no contributions: “We’re working for the public interest and there is not a lot of money in that.”