Saturday, March 20, 2004

From the Daily Misleader:


According to a new report, President Bush's official campaign is selling
clothing made in Burma - a country whose goods Bush banned for sale in the
U.S. because of their awful human rights, narcotics and sex trafficking
record. According to Newsday, "the merchandise sold on
www.georgewbushstore.com includes a $49.95 fleece pullover, embroidered with
the Bush-Cheney '04 logo and bearing a label stating it was made in Burma,
now Myanmar." (1)

The decision by the president's campaign to defy its own embargo directly
contradicts the president's pledge to enforce existing trade laws. Just this
week the president said Americans need to be "treated fairly" and pledged to
"make sure the playing field is level" on trade. (2) But his decision to
market Burmese textile products evades laws that prevent American workers
from having to compete with Burmese workers who have no minimum wage, human
rights or labor protections. Since Bush was elected, thousands of textile
jobs have been lost -- particularly in the South - and many have questioned
whether the Administration is adequately enforcing trade laws. (3)

On top of evading his own trade laws, the president's effective endorsement
of Burmese goods means his campaign is marketing products from a country the
State Department has repeatedly condemned for human rights abuses (4) and
that the Treasury Department has cited for laundering money from illegal
narcotics dealers (5). Just last year, the president told the United
Nations it needed to more seriously address international sex slavery,
saying, "there's a special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most
innocent and vulnerable." (6) But his own campaign is now marketing products
from a country that experts cite as one of the leaders in international sex
trafficking. (7)

1. "Bush campaign gear made in Burma", Newsday, 03/18/2004,
2. "President Discusses Health Access", 03/16/2004,
3. "4,000 textile jobs lost in 2003", Charleston Post and Courier, 01/14/2004
4. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Burma, US Department of State, 02/25/2004
5. States News Service, 03/04/2004.
6. "President Bush Addresses United Nations General Assembly", 09/23/2003,
7. "Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation: Burma/Myanmar"

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