NAFTA 2.0 and Free Trade Vs. Fair Trade Study Materials
Last updated summer of 2019
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is now up for renegotiation by the Trump Administration. The U.S. Congress will play a role. International trade agreements such a NAFTA have a profound impact on quality of life for Americans and others around the globe. Under Agreements like NAFTA a few corporations reap huge benefits from “free trade” while imposing high costs on workers, consumers, communities and the environment. Workers are left helpless in a low wage global labor market with few protections. Learn how people power recently defeated another bad trade deal, the Tran-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Understand NAFTA’s current impact on workers, communities and the environment and see what the “fair trade” alternative looks like and what we can do to influence the upcoming NAFTA renegotiation.
Information by Topic:
Renegotiating North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
NAFTA Fact Sheet, Concise two page summary of NAFTA impacts and why it needs to be replaced.
Full Text of US Trade Representative Statement of NAFTA Renegotiation Objectives: Relatively short (17 pages) plain language statement, much of drawn from 2015 Fast Track language adopted during the Tran-Pacific Partnership negotiations. From the perspective of “free trade” critics the document resembles a ‘business as usual’ approach, not the strong reforms promised during the presidential campaign. See statements from Global Trade Watch and the Citizens Trade Campaign below. https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/files/Press/Releases/NAFTAObjectives.pdf
Global Trade Watch Response to Trump Renegotiation Objectives: The USTR document is vague. “It does not explicitly address the prime issues raised by civil society advocates, labor and environmental groups” says Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach. http://citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade/2017/07/nafta-plan-does-not-describe-promised-transformation-of-nafta-to-prioritize-working-people.html
Citizens Trade Campaign on Trump Administration NAFTA Statement: Includes statements by leaders representing labor, environmental, consumer advocacy and agriculture organizations. http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2017/07/17/ustrs-nafta-renegotiation-plan-unacceptable/
Citizen Trade Campaign January, 2017 Letter to President-elect Trump Outlining Specific Recommendations on NAFTA: Five page brief containing bullet point NAFTA renegotiation action items, including elimination of the undemocratic and corporate-biased Investor-State Dispute Settlement regime, removal of incentives to offshore jobs, strengthened labor and environmental protections, stronger imported food safety requirements, universal access to affordable medicines, and agricultural policies that benefit consumers and family farmers: http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/CTC-PEOTUS-Trade-Letter-011317.pdf
NAFTA and the Cost of Healthcare: Does “Free Trade” Deny People Access to Health Care? Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) is a 1990s global agreement that forms the basis for U.S. policy on trade in intellectual property rights. TRIPS advocates claim patent and copyright protections incentivize innovation and creativity. Critics point to TRIPS’ negative effects, particularly with respect to healthcare. Congressman Polis has expressed strong interest in IP-trade issues. This is good information to pass on to Mr. Polis in your emails and letters. http://www.e-ir.info/2013/12/23/the-arguments-for-and-against-the-trips-agreement/
Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)
Fair Trade: Concepts, Policy Proposals and Opinion
TiSA is much larger and potentially much more dangerous than the TPP for people, democracy and the environment.
Some Trade Deals on Hold after Trump’s Election, but Danger Lurks in the Lesser-Known Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)—Huffington Post: Lists ten ways TiSA would negatively affect workers and democratic governance. Includes links to Wikileaks analyses of key TiSA texts. Good summary article. READ MORE
TiSA Uncovered: Public Services International’s complete website clearly and concisely describing the agreement’s key provisions. Great quick reference. http://www.tisauncovered.org/
Public Services International (PSI) TiSA Website: TiSA news, PSI publications and anti-TiSA campaign organizing materials. Excellent source of information on all aspects of TiSA. http://www.world-psi.org/en/issue/TISA
TiSA Documents and Analyses—Wikileaks: Contains leaked draft language and Wikileaks analyses of content. Clear language. Includes separate tabs for searchable topics and links to summaries of TiSA provisions. Great source material.
We have an opportunity to lead the charge for trade rules that work for people and the environment.
You’ve Stopped the TPP. Now What? Easy to read outline of what’s needed to reform trade policy.
The New Rules of the Road: A Progressive Approach to Globalization—Public Citizen: Concepts and rules for globalization that work for the 99%. Shows what fair trade might look like. Workers, the environment and consumers are protected from corporate excess while markets are created to benefit people and communities.
A Climate Friendly Trade Model—Sierra Club: Over 50 academic and civil society trade and climate specialists propose trade rules that protect climate policies, increase protections and mitigate climate impacts of trade and investment. Compares current trade policies with proposed alternatives. Many references. READ MORE
A Call for the Building of an Alternative Legal Framework for International Investment Treaties: Comprehensive set of principles and conditions to form the framework for international investment honoring human and environmental rights while facilitating trade that benefits everyone and protects the environment. List of specific policy recommendations. READ MORE
Currency Manipulation and Manufacturing Job Loss—Economic Policy Institute: Trade agreements like NAFTA prohibit public action to reign in currency manipulation that destroys American jobs. President Trump’s threat to impose tariffs won’t help will hurts workers. READ MORE
Opinion: New Trade Agenda Deals Promote Equality Rather Inequality—Dean Baker: Economist Dean Baker identifies key trade policies that benefit the majority, keeps medical costs down, promotes creativity, innovation and shared benefits. Financial transparency and prohibiting anti-competitive behavior are key. READ MORE
Opinion: Time for Polis to Pivot to Fair Trade—Ken Bonetti: Trade issues are alive and well. The Trump will be proposing revisions to NAFTA. TiSA is still in progress. Where will Congressman Jared Polis stand?