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

Border frenemies.	(Reuters/Henry Romero)

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

Photo: Caelie_Frampton / Flickr

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

Trump and DNC protesters

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.

Restoring Trust In Our Trade Policy

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By Stan Sorscher for The Huffington Post – I’m in favor of trade. I don’t know anyone opposed to trade. A better question is, “How should we manage globalization?” We’ve lost trust in our approach to globalization. The Brexit vote in Europe was a vote of no confidence. Millions of voters in our presidential campaigns send a similar message. Globalization is not working for us.

Building Alternatives For Food Systems And Trade

Stop TPP, TiSA and TTIP protest Earth Rising

By Karen Hansen-Kuhn for Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy. Public opposition to free trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that serve to increase inequality and concentrate corporate power has reached a loud crescendo. We got to this point through years of effort by thousands of civil society groups around the world, reaching out to educate people on the likely impacts of the very specific rules embedded in those documents, as well as defining alternatives for our economies, environments and food systems. That debate was never simply about trade; it was about decisions on the kinds of economies and societies we choose to accept. NAFTA displaced millions of corn producers and the TPP would threaten the interests of Mexican coffee and dairy producers, as well as requiring adherence to intellectual property rules that lock in corporate control over seeds. Removing those obstacles by defeating the TPP is a necessary first step. Building the alternatives through agroecology will be a vital element of a new approach moving forward.

Transcanada'S $15 Billion Suit Against U.S. Is Corporate Nationhood At Its Worst

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By Michael Levitin for Occupy – When the NAFTA nations – United States, Canada and Mexico – meet Wednesday for the annual Three Amigos Summit in Ottawa, climate change and clean energy are expected to dominate the agenda. However, a curiously timed $15 billion lawsuit launched last Friday by TransCanada, which is using NAFTA to sue the U.S. government for its rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, has undercut the very same climate ideals professed by the North American nations.

Another Corporation Suing Our Government Thanks To Trade Agreements

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By Dave Johnson for Campaign for America’s Future – A Canadian corporation is suing the us because we wouldn’t let them build a pipeline across our country (seizing people’s property along the way) so they could sell oil to China. They can do this because we signed a trade agreement that places corporate rights above our democracy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would increase by an order of magnitude the companies that can sue us for hurting their profits by protecting the environment, consumers, public health and small businesses.

The Mexicanization Of The United States

Workers at one of the maquiladoras in Juarez, Mexico, raise flags in 2013. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, such factories have proliferated, but critics of the pact say its effects have been economically devastating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.  (Ivan Pierre Aguirre / AP)

By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig – The neoliberal ideology that is the engine of corporate capitalism spews its poison around the globe. Constitutions are rewritten by judicial fiat in a mockery of democracy. Laws and regulations that impede corporate exploitation are abolished. Corporations orchestrate legally sanctioned tax boycotts. Free-trade deals destroy small farmers and businesses along with labor unions and government agencies designed to protect the public from contaminated air, water and food and from usurious creditors and lenders.

New Study Confirms: Private ‘Trade’ Courts Serve Ultra-Wealthy

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By Richard (RJ) Eskow for The Huffington Post – A new study confirms what many activists have suspected for a long time: The private courts set up by international “trade” deals heavily favor billionaires and giant corporations, and they do so at the expense of governments and people. Smaller companies and less-wealthy individuals don’t benefit nearly as much from these private courts as the extremely rich and powerful do. Other interested parties – whether they’re governments, children, working people, or the planet itself – are unable to benefit from these private courts at all.

Don’t Give A Damn About TPP?

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By David Swanson for American Herald Tribune – Former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and others who had seen all or part of the text of theTrans-Pacific Partnership, used to say that just making it public would stop it dead. But that depends on a number of factors, I think. The TPP has now been made public. Twelve nations have just gone ahead and signed it. And their hope is to see their governments ratify it during the next two years. The destruction wreaked by NAFTA can be seen in thousands of hollowed out towns across the United States, if you trust the bridges to get you there and are willing to risk drinking the water.

Corporate Power Doesn’t Always Win: Remembering FTAA

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By Aldo Orellana López and Thomas Mc Donagh for Foreign Policy In Focus – In retrospect, it sounds like a dream come true: a mobilized population, intercontinental organizing, cooperative left-wing governments — all culminating in the downfall of a major corporate-friendly trade agreement that would have covered a large chunk of the global economy. It wasn’t just a dream. The proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA — meant to span all of North and Latin America — went down in defeat in 2005. Now, over a decade later, as we face two other upcoming trade deals…

TPP & SOTU: The Facts vs. Obama

TPP Protest photo Monsanto wants it . . . any questions

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Flush The TPP. President Obama will make his push for the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a major part of the State of the Union as this is a major goal of his final year in office. This is an opportunity for a widespread discussion of the TPP and what impacts it will have on the economy, workers, the environment and more. Just yesterday the World Bank published a comprehensive analysis of the TPP and concluded that by 2030 the TPP will have a miniscule 0.4% impact on US trade. The economic impact for the United States is minimal but the impact on workers, the environment, food safety, traditional energy and the overall balance between corporate power and government is dramatic. The president’s claims about the TPP should be examined closely and measured against the facts of what the TPP will actually do and the impact similar trade agreements have had. We know from past comments by the president and the US Trade Representative that their sales pitch for the TPP is not always consistent with the facts.