President Trump’s intentions for NAFTA are in motion. The “renegotiation” of NAFTA will go down this summer. Right now, the new United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer is accepting public comments on how the renegotiation should take place (… what it should prioritize). This comment period ends June 12, making this a critical time to be heard. Send him some language on what the possibility of a people- and planet-centered North American Free Trade Agreement looks like.
For almost a quarter century, NAFTA has been enriching corporate elites at the expense of working people and the environment in the United States, Mexico and Canada. NAFTA’s forthcoming renegotiation should be used to stop the pact’s ongoing damage and to create a replacement that puts people over profits.
Unfortunately, many of the same corporations behind NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) view the re-opening of NAFTA as a way to further expand their own corporate power agenda.
We need a NAFTA replacement that, among other things, includes strong, binding and enforceable labor and environmental standards; that requires imported food to meet domestic safety standards; that defends “Buy America” and “Buy Local” public procurement preferences; and that eliminates investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions that promote job offshoring and give multinational corporations power to sue governments over environmental, health and other public interest protections before tribunals of three corporate lawyers.
In sum, speak up. And be ready — to struggle for a trade agreement that would live up to Trump’s promise of something that is “a lot better” for working people.