On NAFTA, Trump and Mexico announce the outlines of a new deal, potentially excluding Canada

What has happened to NAFTA in the past week? The U.S. and Mexico have announced the outlines of a deal that they’re willing to close on Friday — by on that day sending official notice to the U.S. Congress of intent to sign a trade agreement. (Then 90 days will pass, after which the heads of the governments can sign, after which the legislative bodies must vote “yes” for it to take effect.)

What kind of trade agreement is it? So far, it is a deal without Canada. Canada can come to the table for talks (and ask for changes, but they have quite little leverage) up until Friday. (Still, there could also be a back door to let Canada in after Friday, following some precedent relating to the fact that countries popped in and out of the TPP.)

A lot remains to be seen about the viability and nature of this deal depending on Canada’s appetite for jumping in. So we await how some of that dust settles.

It is outrageous this negotiation has occurred in such secrecy that an announcement can drop that leaves Canada out, potentially renames the deal, and discloses no actual text of the chapters. They have not shown the contents of what is being negotiated in our name, and still didn’t today.

What we do know from the outlines of the agreement is that is DOES NOT GO NEARLY FAR ENOUGH IN STANDING UP FOR WORKERS or our planet and local environments. We demand as we always have that there be an end to NAFTA’s ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement)-related outsourcing incentives and that there be strong labor and environmental standards with swift and certain enforcement.

Instead these are being ignored; even the proceedings for what role ISDS would play in NAFTA 2.0 seem to have seen some backsliding — that leaves ISDS in place(!) for energy and telecom corporations. Unacceptable. Make it right, supposed governments of the people.

Indeed, let’s at least have our U.S. government hear from us on the urgent need to reverse the NAFTA legacy. Please get on this petition (https://petitions.signforgood.com/replace-NAFTA/?code=CTC) which is signed by more than 65,000 across the country and pushed by a couple dozen civil society groups united on NAFTA. Thank you. Onward to victory.

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