Tell The USTR We Want Trade For People And Planet

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By Trade for People and Planet. Please take a few moments to submit your comments to the Office of the US Trade Representative now. The clock is ticking on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The window for public comments closes Monday, June 12 at 5 pm Eastern. The Trump administration is going against its campaign promises by pushing for a new NAFTA that includes some of the provisions we fought to stop in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We must make it clear that people will not tolerate the current failed model of trade that exploits people and the planet. Trade can be organized in a way that improves working conditions, raises wages, protects the planet and makes voluntary agreements like the Paris Climate Treaty enforceable.

Making NAFTA Worse

Flickr / Woody Wood

By Jim Hightower for Other Words – Trump promised to negotiate the widely loathed trade deal, which would be great — except he’s giving corporations even more power to offshore jobs. Like rose blossoms, a politician’s promises can be beautiful when they burst into full, glorious bloom — only to fade over time and, petal by petal, fall away. Take Donald Trump’s glorious pledge last year to renegotiate the NAFTA trade deal and provide a “much better” deal for working families who lost manufacturing jobs as a result of it. Beautiful! This particular blossom is what convinced many hard-hit former factory workers to vote Trump into the White House. But the bloom is now off Trump’s rosy promise, and it looks like working families will get nothing but thorns from him. A recently leaked copy of Trump’s NAFTA plan reveals that, far from scrapping the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal, White House negotiators are goosing it up with even more power for multinational corporations. In particular, it includes new “investor incentives” to offshore thousands more of our middle-class jobs. Where did this come from? Right out of last year’s discredited and defeated Trans-Pacific Partnership, a scam intended to enthrone corporate supremacy over our own laws.

Trump’s NAFTA “Re-Do” Threatens People And The Planet

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By Audrey Fox for Friends of the Earth – WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump Administration submitted notice to Congress today that it intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, according to reports. Bill Waren, Friends of the Earth’s senior trade analyst, issued the following response: Donald Trump built his campaign by demonizing the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he called “the worst deal ever,” and by making assurances that he could rework trade deals to protect the American people. Now he plans to give another hand out to corporations through renegotiating NAFTA. Trump’s leaked NAFTA renegotiation plan describes just what the corporate lobby is demanding: using NAFTA talks to revive large parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership making NAFTA even worse for people and the planet. Any trade agreement that the U.S. enters must protect public health and our environment. Trump’s NAFTA “re-do,” like the TPP, will encourage corporations to pollute our air and water, poison our food and accelerate climate change.

Trade in the Digital Era, We Demand Popular Participation

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Daniel Cooper Bermudez for Popular Resistance – Digital rights are under threat in the United States and abroad as corporations and governments work together to infringe upon people’s privacy and limit essential civil and political rights such as freedom and equality in access to information. From the FCC’s dismantling of Net Neutrality to the inclusion of digital trade provisions in TPP that industry leaders want in NAFTA, the movement has been ready to fight back and has counter-proposals to guarantee that the internet remains free and open, a center for the global organizing required to foster a world fighting back climate change and human rights violations.

NAFTA Needs To Be Replaced, Not Renegotiated

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By John E. Peck and Jim Goodman for Family Farm Defenders – The North American Free Trade Agreement must be replaced with a transparent trade agreement that ensures: farmers in all three nations receive fair prices for their production, consumers are guaranteed the right to know the content and origin of their food and strong environmental protections are put in place to protect the sustainability of rural communities. While the current structure of NAFTA has increased trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States, farm profit margins did not increase. Multi-national grain traders made huge profits dumping subsidized US corn on Mexico, crushing much of Mexico’s farm economy to the point that Mexican Catholic Bishops said that NAFTA was leading to the “cultural death” of their nation. Trade agreements should promote fair trade that that supports farmers of all countries involved, not just the financial interests of multi-national agribusiness corporations. To give just one recent example of how rural communities suffer from reckless trade policies, on April 1stGrassland Dairy Products, the nation’s largest butter maker, informed 75 Wisconsin dairy farmers that their milk would no longer be needed by May since Canadian buyers had cancelled contracts to import one million pounds of milk per day.

Corporate Siege and Trade in the 2018 Elections

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Trade policy is amounting to be an increasinly contentious topic as the Trump administration has clearly showed its intentions to keep major TPP provisions in NAFTA. Corporations are working with the Department of Commerce to eliminate the few but significant labor and environmental protections the government enforces while members of Congress begin to campaign around trade. 2018 promises to put trade policy at the forefront as presidential elections in Mexico and mid-terms in the United States could determine the fate of North American trade agreements to come.

The NAFTA Machine is in Motion

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By Daniel Cooper Bermudez for Popular Resistance. This month, the Trump adminsitration sent out an eight-page draft letter to the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees outlining the administration’s objectives for NAFTA renegotiations. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has expressed wanting to send out the official letter to Congress, which upon approval would initiate the 90-day consultation period required before beginning negotations. Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto already began Mexico’s own 90-day consultation period in early February. That means the NAFTA negotiations could start in early July.

Trump Renegotiation Of NAFTA Betrays People & Planet

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By Audrey Fox for Friends of the Earth – WASHINGTON, D.C. – A draft of Donald Trump’s notice to Congress of his intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement has leaked. Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica issued the following statement in light of the leaked document: Despite his campaign rhetoric, Donald Trump’s leaked draft plan for NAFTA renegotiation betrays workers and the planet. Trump deceived voters who supported him based on his promise to fix NAFTA or to withdraw from the agreement altogether in order to bring industrial jobs back to the United States. Trump’s draft notice appears to be modeled on the failed Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which he excoriated on the campaign trail.

It’s Time to Scrap NAFTA, Not ‘Tweak’ It

NAFTA opened the doors for a flood of subsidized agricultural products and large-scale consolidation, eviscerating small farmers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo: Bread for the World / Flickr)

By Victor Suarez and Alejandro Villamar for Foreign Policy in Focus. Some politicians and “experts” still don’t understand — or don’t want to understand — that a great deal of popular discontent in the United States, Mexico, and Canada alike is rooted in undemocratic policies that have produced inequality, unemployment, migration, food dependency, and pollution. NAFTA isn’t the only factor — but it’s one of the most powerful. The reason is that NAFTA was never designed for the development of our peoples through trade, but instead to advance the narrow corporate interests of multi-national firms and the governments that serve them. In the case of Mexico, it was negotiated and signed by an authoritarian government that only served the interests of large Mexican and global corporations, and which turned its back on productive sectors linked to the domestic market.

Trump Right To Criticize NAFTA—But He’s Wrong About Why It’s Bad For America

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By Jeff Faux for Quartz – Donald Trump’s promise to renegotiate or tear-up the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement was a major reason why he won the support of working class voters in the Midwestern states that were crucial to his election. It’s also a trap. As US president-elect, Trump quickly scored some points with his Rust Belt constituency after claiming to get the Carrier and Ford corporations to reduce the number of jobs they are sending to Mexico. He also clearly exaggerated the effect of his personal persuasiveness: Carrier was moved by a $7 million tax break from the state of Indiana and Ford might well have made its decision before Trump intervened. In any event, as the Wall Street Journal reports, other companies, such as Rexnord, Caterpillar, and Nucor continue to send jobs south of the border. Renegotiating NAFTA is therefore the first real test of Trump’s pledge to create good new jobs by negotiating better trade deals.

Newsletter: The Problem Isn’t Trump, It’s Bigger

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The awakening of mass protests against Donald Trump’s executive orders and appointments could become a real movement, but it must realize a critically important point: Trump is not the problem, the system is. Illusion of Democracy hides oligarchyTrump is a symptom of a long-term trend of a failing democracy that is too closely tied to Wall Street and the war machine. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are part of this failed system that does not represent the people of the United States. We are all working to build a mass movement for economic, racial and environmental justice that is bigger than Donald Trump. As the extremist actions of the Trump administration are put in place we need to remember that extremism for the wealthy, for war and ignoring of environmental catastrophe is consistent with the actions of all recent presidents and the leadership of both corporate parties.

Free Trade Agreements And The Dynamics Of Capitalism

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By Pete Dolack for Left Voice – Now that the new Trump administration has officially pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and has announced an intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, it might appear as if the global neoliberal order has suffered a pair of blows. We nonetheless can be forgiven for harboring strong doubts that much, if anything, in the realm of global trade will change. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has faced strong popular opposition for years, thanks to the work of activists on both sides of the Pacific, North and South, who labored to drag this secret corporate power grab into the light of day.

The Canadian Government Should Replace NAFTA Or Scrap It

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By Raul Burbano for Common Frontiers – The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a trilateral trade agreement between Canada, United States and Mexico that went into effect January 1, 1994. It is the largest agreement of its kind in the world and was implemented in the face of considerable opposition in all three countries. In the twenty-three years since NAFTA was implemented we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in profits and rights of multinational corporations, underscoring a widening economic inequality in North America. The social and economic consequences on working class people, across all three countries, has been devastating in terms of increased poverty, weakened labour rights and environmental protections, fueling a “race to the bottom” in living standards

Restoring Trust After Our “Free Trade” Charade Ends

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By Stan Sorscher for The Huffington Post – The 2016 elections threw a bucket of cold water into the face of free-trade orthodoxy. It’s no surprise that voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere are deeply discouraged by decades of failed promises of boon from establishment leaders. The real surprise is, what took us so long? We need a new approach to globalization that does as much for workers and the environment as it does for global investors. Everyone I know wants trade and globalization. However, we have managed globalization badly. Our failed “neoliberal” approach has been to manage globalization through trade deals, written by and for the interests of global companies.

Call For Trump Protests Around Inauguration

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By Kshana Sawant for Counterpunch. Hundreds of thousands of people have already poured into the streets since November 8th. On the night of the election result, my organization, Socialist Alternative began to organize protests around the country for the next day. Hundreds of thousands of people have already poured into the streets since November 8th. On the night of the election result, my organization, Socialist Alternative began to organize protests around the country for the next day. More than 50,000 answered that call: in Seattle, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Oakland. Many more protests have followed, as well as dozens of student walkouts, including 5,000 Seattle students on Monday alone. Our movement will need to be independent of both major political parties. The Democratic Party cannot be relied on to stop Trump, anymore now than during the election. And to truly defeat the right, we will need to build our own mass party – a party of, by and for the 99% – completely free of corporate cash and corporate influence. We have a historic responsibility to fight back against this administration. On January 20th and 21st, activists will be organizing protests and student walkouts across the country. Hundreds of thousands will gather for the Women’s March on Washington DC and to “Occupy Inauguration,” to send a message to the new president that there is no space whatsoever for his bigoted agenda in America.