What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Preventing Workers' Rights From Being Eroded by International Trade Agreements : H.R. 2738. U.S.-Chile Trade/Procedural Vote to Proceed to a Final Vote on a Free Trade Bill Between the U.S. and Chile.
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H.R. 2738. U.S.-Chile Trade/Procedural Vote to Proceed to a Final Vote on a Free Trade Bill Between the U.S. and Chile.
house Roll Call 434     Jul 24, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

House rules require that legislation be read three times before passage; the first reading occurs when the legislation is first introduced, the second reading occurs before House debate on the floor, and the third (and final) reading occurs at the conclusion of floor debate but before final passage of the legislation (usually the title of the bill, and not entire document, is read by the clerk of the House). The subject of this vote was the third reading of legislation to encourage free trade between the U.S. and Chile. Progressives voted against the pro-forma third reading (in an effort to prevent final passage of the bill) based on their objections to the underlying legislation (arguments against the U.S.-Chile free trade bill mirror those presented in opposition to the U.S.-Singapore free trade bill (see Roll Call Vote #432); in fact, both pieces of legislation were called up for debate at the same time). In the view of Progressives, the U.S.-Chile trade bill would exacerbate the trade deficit in the United States and thereby cause Americans to lose their jobs (a trade "deficit" in this context means that the U.S. annually pays more money for imported products-those made in other countries-than it earns in exporting U.S.-made goods to those countries). Progressives also contended that free-trade agreements encourage environmental degradation by allowing corporations unfettered access to commodities that sometimes come from previously pristine natural environments under-protected by nations' environmental laws. Despite their objections to the free trade bill, the third reading was allowed on a 299-129 vote and the legislation was allowed to proceed in the legislative process.

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