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Behind The Virtuous Façade

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)—the successor to NAFTA—commenced on July 1, 2020. As the first anniversary of the agreement approaches, too little is known, or knowable, as to what has been accomplished in terms of one of the agreement’s main objectives—the legitimation of Mexico’s labor relations. Over the past decade, Mexico has rapidly ascended the list of U.S. trade partners—achieving top status in 2019, edging out the world’s industrial colossus, China. As its export capacity in manufacturing rose—particularly in auto and auto parts production—so did the objections of U.S. unions and their allies to what can be understood as “social dumping.” That is, Mexico, unlike China, has kept its average manufacturing wage roughly constant—at about one-tenth of U.S. wages, on average—as exports soared in the NAFTA era (1994–2020).

Migrant Worker Women Submit First Petition Against The US Under USMCA

Maritza Perez and Adareli Ponce have filed the first-ever petition against the U.S. under the USMCA in a pivotal moment for the fight to end gender discrimination against migrant worker women on temporary labor migration programs. The petition was signed by a binational coalition of allies led by CDM. Migrant worker women are denied jobs, channeled into lower-paying roles and exposed to gender-based violence at their workplace. They’ve fought for justice, demanding the U.S. government put in place enforcement measures that ensure equity and dignity for migrant worker women.

USMCA: Bandaids On A Flawed Corporate Trade System

A report by economists Thea M. Lee and Robert E. Scott at the Economic Policy Institute concedes that USMCA is a big improvement from the 2017 version, but concludes that it ultimately adds up to “Band-Aids on a fundamentally flawed agreement and process.” Using statistics from the U.S. International Trade Commission, Lee and Scott point out that, at best, the deal will only create about 51,000 jobs over the next six years and could raise the GDP by a few tenths of a percentage point. These potential jobs would come in farming, manufacturing and mining. The report cites an International Monetary Fund (IMF) working paper which predicts nothing but bad news for the (already beleaguered) auto-industry. That same paper concludes that, “At the aggregate level, effects of the USMCA are relatively small...effects of the USMCA on real GDP are negligible.”

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement—Weak Tea, At Best

The revised U.S.—Mexico—Canada Agreement (USMCA), announced today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and endorsed by the AFL-CIO, represents a significant improvement on the draft agreement first released in 2017. Negotiators for labor and House Democrats strengthened the provisions on labor rights, environmental standards, and the enforcement of these rules, and also removed costly and egregious new protections for corporations, including giveaways by the Trump administration to pharmaceutical companies.

Levy, Garibay: ‘NAFTA 2.0’ Undermines Affordable Prescriptions

If at first your eyes glaze over at mention of the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA, aka “NAFTA 2.0”), it’s hard to blame you. Texans admire plain dealing and clear rules. Trade treaties like the original North American Free Trade Agreement operate in fine print, legal niceties and obscure power centers that can govern for years before you find out the rules are rigged against you. On the key topic of prescription drugs, the rules really are rigged against you, and if USMCA isn’t revised, it would only make matters worse. Texans know drugs cost too much.

‘Big Pharma’ Is The Big Winner Of The USMCA

The longstanding debate in the United States on its sky-high prescription drug prices and access to health care is raging where you might least expect it — within the pages of President Trump’s new trade deal: the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Critics of the USMCA are very concerned that it would increase medicine prices in North America and strengthen the hand of one of the world's most powerful industries. At Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center and School of Public Health, we have been studying the impact of trade treaties on access to medicines and can confirm that there is real truth to these concerns. They require policy action.

It’s Time To Stop NAFTA 2.0 And Get Trade For People And Planet!

The debate around Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 is heating up. Mexico just ratified the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), leaving both Canada and the United States to follow suit. But, there are some major road-blocks in both countries that could delay or even derail the “trade” deal completely. In the US, we have to keep the pressure on House Democrats so they don’t succumb to the interests of Big Pharma, Big Ag, and the Fossil Fuel industry that are fighting hard for further deregulation under NAFTA 2.0.

Making Sense Of NAFTA And Its Replacement

(June 10, 2019) — In 2016, Donald Trump’s trade message was very simple: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was the worst trade deal ever negotiated. He has renegotiated NAFTA, rebranding the deal as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). We never quite understood his objection to the original NAFTA, and we don’t understand how USMCA fixes it. You need to squint to see the difference between NAFTA and its replacement.

How “Good Regulatory Practices” In Trade Agreements Erode Protections For The Environment, Public Health, Workers And Consumers

Since the 1995 founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO), environmental NGOs and public interest watchdogs have warned that overly restrictive language in the WTO agreements unfairly constrains the policy options available to governments for conserving animal and plant habitats, eliminating pollution, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and taking toxic chemicals out of our consumer products, among other public interest priorities. While some progress has been made to remedy this imbalance in newer free trade agreements...

Sharon Treat: Mainers Right To Be Skeptical That USMCA Will Fix Farmers’ Woes

True, NAFTA and other “old trade agreements” hurt farmers and rural economies. It doesn’t follow, though, that the new NAFTA represents a bright new day — and a rebranding doesn’t mean an improvement. Analysis by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy makes clear that the NAFTA revamp doubles down on corporate-written policies that will worsen the economic headwinds faced by rural economies and farming families, lower food safety standards and make it much more difficult to inform consumers through nutritional and ingredient labeling.

Report: Trump NAFTA 2.0 Fails Economic Analysis

The April 18, 2019 release of the International Trade Commission (ITC) report on the revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) does nothing to alter the reality that the fate of NAFTA 2.0 relies largely on whether the administration engages with congressional Democrats and then with Canada and Mexico to improve the text signed last year. That Democrats, unions and others who have opposed past pacts seek improvements – rather than the deal’s demise – reveals that a path exists to build broad support. But absent removal of new monopoly protections for pharmaceutical firms that lock in high drug prices and strengthened labor and environmental standards and enforcement, the deal is not likely to garner a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Time Is Running Out For Old And New NAFTA Deal

Back in December 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump gave Congress a six-month ultimatum to approve the newly signed “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement” (USMCA), yet as elections loom closer and tariffs disputes continue the chance of the countries ratifying the pact this year are receding. Even though a deal was reached in 2018, the USMCA has not been ratified by any of the three countries, which means the trade framework is still at risk. “The USMCA is in trouble,” assured former Mexican deputy foreign minister for North America, Andres Rozental.

USMCA is Another Corporate Power Grab

The path to creating a trade system that puts the necessities of the people and the protection of the planet before trade designed for transnational corporations begins with stopping Trump Trade, the NAFTA 2.0 referred to as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreements (USMCA). Many of the shortcomings of the original NAFTA remain and the reforms made are inadequate to warrant support for those who believe in fair trade that puts people and planet before corporate trade. The path to a trade regimen that we need begins by stopping Trump Trade.

Congress Call In Day: Stop NAFTA 2 And Create Trade For People And Planet!

The new Congress, elected in the 2018 midterm elections, has its first meeting on January 3 and will be getting into full swing by January 8. Let’s send them a warm welcome with our demands for trade justice at the beginning of the term. We need them to, not only stop the corporate giveaways of NAFTA 2, but also to create a new model of trade that protects people, the environment and democracy.

AMLO Goes Full Throttle Against Neoliberalism — But What About NAFTA?

I had the great fortune to attend the inauguration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (or AMLO, as he is known) as the 58th Mexican president on December 1. The atmosphere at the Legislative Palace was electric with the knowledge that Mexico would be beginning its “Fourth Transformation” — following its 1810 independence, the 1855 reformation, and the 1910 revolution — with the first left-wing presidency in its history. It was AMLO’s third attempt at the office. In 2006 Felipe Calderón orchestrated a cyber fraud that gave him a slim advantage over AMLO. And in order to win in 2012, outgoing president Enrique Peña Nieto engaged in tricks like giving away cash-loaded bank cards.
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