Protesters Demand End To Corporate Courts, Transparency In NAFTA

1nafta1

By Daniel Cooper Bermudez for Trade for People and Planet. Arlington, VA – Official negotiators were met by protesters demanding that the deal do away with the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), a system of tribunals through which multi-national corporations have sued governments for millions of dollars for implementing stronger labor and environmental standards, and to implement transparent and participatory practices in the deal’s remaking. Activists stood in front of the Sheraton in Arlington, Virginia – where negotiations are taking place from October 11-15 – with a giant Trump puppet and signs that read “Democracy not Corporatocracy” and “Transparency: Release the Text!”

Newsletter – No #NAFTA2, Yes To Trade For People & Planet

16252087_10208425543224765_7115266824784863319_o

By Daniel Cooper Bermudez. The Trump administration is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico in secret, just as President Obama did with the TPP. Over the past two decades, NAFTA has resulted in workers losing their jobs and being replaced by machinery, ruined family farms throughout the continent, displaced communities and privatized social services, environmental disasters like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a widespread attack on labor rights and unions. This week, we explain our opposition to NAFTA2 and put forward a strategy to remake trade so it is no longer corporate-driven trade for the profits of a few, but people-driven trade to benefit all and protect the planet.

As First NAFTA Round Opens In Secrecy, Digital Rights Groups Fear Another TPP

tpp-handshake

By Jeremy Malcolm for EFF – The opening round of a series of negotiations over a proposed revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began this week in Washington, D.C. between trade representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Already it is clear that the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has ignored our specific recommendations (to say nothing of USTR Robert Lighthizer’s personal promises) about making the negotiations more open and transparent. Once again, following the failed model of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the USTR will be keeping the negotiating texts secret, and in an actual regression from the TPP will be holding no public stakeholder events alongside the first round. This may or may not set a precedent for future rounds, that will rotate between the three countries every few weeks thereafter, with a scheduled end date of mid-2018. Although EFF has been keeping an open mind about the agreement until we have a better idea of what it will contain, the secrecy of its first negotiation round augurs poorly for what is to come. Already, the usual copyright lobbyists have descended upon the negotiations, sending a letter to the USTR this week which directly opposes the inclusion of a “fair use” copyright exception in the agreement, as EFF had suggested.

The End Of Globalisation

Flickr/ oliver lerone schultz

By Stuart Jeanne Bramhall for Dissident Voice – In From Global to Local: The Making of Things and the End of Globalisation, Finbarr Livesey challenges the common neoliberal claim that globalization is the be-all and end-all of global prosperity. Livesey’s premise, which he supports with an impressive array of data, is that globalization peaked shortly after 2008 and the world economy is in a period of deglobalization. World trade is slowly declining as a percentage of GDP, and many companies who moved factories to the third world are improving their bottom line by reshoring them to the US and Europe. Livesey contends that, to a large extent, last year’s vote for Britain to leave the EU and for a US president who promised to withdraw from the TPP and bring back American jobs, merely reflect an economic trend that began nearly a decade ago. The present deglobalization was triggered by the 2008 financial crash that sucked trillions of dollars out of the global economy. However, Livesey identifies a number of other factors that influence this trend – chief among them the volatility of oil prices and shipping costs (containers must be booked months in advance) and the growing cost of labor in China and neighboring countries.

Stop Trump From Making NAFTA Even Worse

Webp.net-resizeimage_(19)_1_850_593

By Ethan Earle for In These Times – Many on the Left have been deeply critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) since before it was fast-tracked into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1994. Now, President Donald Trump’s current plan to renegotiate NAFTA is poised to make the massive trade deal even worse. In late May, a loose coalition of civil society groups gathered in Mexico City to discuss this upcoming renegotiation. Participants included the AFL-CIO, Canadian Labour Congress and over one hundred other labor, environmental, and immigrant rights organizations from across Mexico, the United States and Canada. The meeting produced a joint declaration opposing a Trump-led NAFTA renegotiation and marked the kickoff of the latest international campaign against free-trade deals that benefit corporations and political elites at the expense of workers, communities and our shared environment. NAFTA’s legacy is marred by lost jobs, lower wages, increased inequality and a litany of environmentally destructive practices. While the people who gathered in Mexico City have long opposed NAFTA for its pro-corporate bent, a consensus emerged that President Trump and his team are cooking up something even worse. Two questions follow from this judgment: What can we do to stop Trump, and how can we use the moment to challenge the powerful interests that he represents?

Tell The USTR We Want Trade For People And Planet

1nafta1

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.

Canadians Say: Reject TPP, Transform Trade

From foodandwaterwatch.org

By Meghan Sali for Open Media – Report crowdsourced from nearly 28,000 people finds that Canadians want to withdraw from the TPP, and ensure real transparency and engagement for future trade deals. March 14, 2017 – “Next time, consult us!” – that’s the clear message coming from Canadians on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A new report published today finds that Canadians want to withdraw from the TPP, and for the government to ensure much greater transparency and public engagement for future trade deals. The report is published as trade ministers gather in Chile to discuss the future of trans-Pacific trade, following the withdrawal of the U.S. from the TPP.

TPP Is Not Dead: It’s Now Called Trade In Services Agreement

by Annette Dubois

By Peter Dolack of Systemic Disorder – Think the ideas behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership or the so-called “free trade” regime are buried? Sadly, no. Definitely, no. Some of the countries involved in negotiating the TPP seeking to find ways to resurrect it in some new form — but that isn’t the most distressing news. What’s worse is the TPP remains alive in a new form with even worse rules. Meet the Trade In Services Agreement, even more secret than the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And more dangerous. The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA), currently being negotiated among 50 countries, if passed would prohibit regulations on the financial industry, eliminate laws to safeguard online or digital privacy

Death Of TPP Was Overdue, Don’t Credit Trump

Backbone Campaign/Flickr

By Nick Dearden for Global Justice Now – Trump isn’t serious about helping American workers, you only have to look at some of his other proposals – and his business history – to know that. But more worrying still, pitting the interests of American workers against everyone and everything thing else – workers elsewhere, climate change, public services – takes us in a very dangerous direction. In the 1930s, many governments responded to the Great Depression by trying to shift their economic problems onto other counties. State’s pushed up tariffs and quotas, competitively devalued currencies, underwrote big business monopolies. These policies aren’t always and everywhere wrong, but in the 30s they were used to promote exports…

We Stopped The TPP, Time To Stop TTIP And TiSA!

20170120_102013

By Popular Resistance. On January 23, 2017, President Trump kept his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This action was taken because of the work of activists across the U. S. who care about a variety of issues that would be impacted by the TPP. It was the people working together in broad coalitions that made the TPP so politically toxic that politicians ran away from it. People have the power to bring transformational change. It is time to end the failed model of trade and demand a new era of globalization that strengthens protections of workers, families, communities and the planet rather than protecting corporate profits.

Trump Signs Executive Order Withdrawing US From TPP

Trade Justice Not Wall protest on Inauguration Day defines what trade justice requires knowing Trump was withdrawing from TPP. Our battle now is making trade that protects people and planet. Photo: Popular Resistance.

By Staff of RT – With a stroke of a pen, President Donald Trump has unraveled the Trans-Pacific Partnership, withdrawing the US from the controversial free-trade pact. Without Washington’s participation, the TPP would have to be renegotiated or scrapped altogether. The largest global trade agreement in 20 years, the TPP would have included the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. It was championed by former President Barack Obama as a way to open Asian markets for American goods and create a trade bloc to counter China.

Trump Trade Strategy Starts With Quitting TPP

1wewon1

By Reuters. WASHINGTON DC: The new US administration of President Donald Trump said on Friday (Jan 20) its trade strategy to protect American jobs would start with withdrawal from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact. A White House statement issued soon after Trump’s inauguration said the United States would also “crack down on those nations that violate trade agreements and harm American workers in the process.” The statement said Trump was committed to renegotiating another trade deal, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was signed in 1994 by the United States, Canada and Mexico. “For too long, Americans have been forced to accept trade deals that put the interests of insiders and the Washington elite over the hard-working men and women of this country,” it said.

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.

Newsletter: Turn Widespread Discontent Into Mass Movement

RiseUp

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. With the election of Donald Trump as president the struggle continues for economic, racial and environmental justice. We knew we would be in struggle no matter who was elected and have been calling for #NoHoneymoon protests for months. We also support calls made for protests in the days before the inauguration and after them. We expect to see a growing presidency of protest under Trump as the movement will grow and continue to demand justice, human rights and a people-based democracy. We need to build now, provide a vision and have conversations at the local level so when the attacks on our communities occur and false promises of Donald Trump are made obvious people know where they can turn. We can turn widespread discontent into a mass movement with the power to transform the nation.

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.