Today, in D.C., the U.S. International Trade Commission is hearing testimony as input in the NAFTA renegotiation. These hearings are part of how the United States Trade Representative will be guided as to what positions to take (and priorities to hold) in the negotiations. Here’s the thing: the People – in the form of: workers and consumer, environmental, labor, and human-rights groups – have been speaking up, and demanding that their voice be heard in this process, because the public sees through the false promises of the NAFTA model and knows the danger of NAFTA as a deal advantageous to multinational corporations, to the detriment of the rest of us.
So today outside the hearings, this coalition, which derailed the TPP, delivered more than 100,000 petitions to the federal government, on top of the 50,000 public comments that were submitted in the USTR’s public-comment period. You should still sign the petition, HERE, if you haven’t.
The petition and many of the comments focuses on two themes. First, if corporate elites are allowed to dictate how NAFTA is renegotiated, the agreement could become more damaging for working families and the environment. Second, modest tweaks would not stop NAFTA’s ongoing damage, much less deliver on President Donald Trump’s promises for a deal that will create American jobs and raise wages.
Advocating for a NAFTA renegotiation that benefits working people in all three countries, a diverse coalition of consumer, labor and digital organizations coordinated the collection of petition signatures challenging the Trump administration to:
- Make the negotiating process transparent;
- Eliminate NAFTA’s foreign investor protections and investor-state dispute settlement, which promote job offshoring and empower corporations to sue the U.S. government for uncapped sums before tribunals of three corporate lawyers;
- Add tough and strongly enforced labor, wage and environmental standards;
- Ensure imported food, goods and services meet U.S. consumer and environmental standards;
- Cut rules that waive Buy American and Buy Local policies and offshore U.S. tax dollars; and
- Eliminate rules that drive up the price of lifesaving medicines by giving pharmaceutical companies extended monopolies to avoid generic competition.
So there’s your update. Stray strong in this struggle.