By Arthur Stamoulis of the Citizens Trade Campaign
Priority NAFTA Changes Outlined by Labor & Nonprofit Groups
Coalition Also Calls for Increased Transparency and an End to TTIP, TiSA and China BIT
Washington, DC — The Citizens Trade Campaign coalition sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump today outlining ten key areas of change needed in the promised renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The coalition of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer and faith organizations also called for greater transparency in trade policymaking, and called for an end to the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Trade in Services Agreement and the U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty negotiations.
Mr. Trump has labelled NAFTA “the worst trade deal in history,” and made criticism of it and other trade policies a centerpiece of his election campaign. Earlier this month, Trump spokesperson Sean Spicer told reporters that the president-elect will notify Congress of his intention to renegotiate NAFTA and will formally withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on his first day in office.
“The new president’s test on trade policy is not what he does with the already-defunct TPP, but whether he puts working families and healthy communities ahead of corporate profits in the NAFTA renegotiation and whether he pulls out of TPP-style trade proposals started under the previous administration,” said Arthur Stamoulis, Citizen Trade Campaign’s executive director. “Our letter clarifies what type of agreement NAFTA must be replaced with in order to create good-paying jobs, eliminate threats to our communities and otherwise benefit the majority in all three nations.”
The letter calls on the president-elect to inform the Mexican and Canadian governments that the United States will withdraw from NAFTA, unless specific changes in the following priority areas can be made through renegotiation within the first year of the Trump presidency that:
- Eliminate rules that incentivize the offshoring of jobs and that empower corporations to attack democratic policies in unaccountable tribunals;
- Defend jobs and human rights by adding strong, binding and enforceable labor and environmental standards to the the agreement’s core text and requiring that they are enforced;
- Overhaul NAFTA rules that harm family farmers and feed a destructive agribusiness model;
- End NAFTA rules that threaten the safety of our food;
- Eliminate NAFTA rules that drive up the cost of medicines;
- Eliminate NAFTA rules that undermine job-creating programs like Buy American;
- Add strong, enforceable disciplines against currency manipulation to ensure a fair playing field for job creation;
- Strengthen “rules of origin” and stop transshipment so as to create jobs and reinforce labor and environmental standards;
- Require imported goods and services to meet domestic safety and environmental rules; and
- Add a broad protection for environmental, health, labor and other public interest policies.
According to the letter, “The rubric for assessing a NAFTA renegotiation is clear: Does it put the needs of people and the planet over corporate profits? Does it support — not undermine — good jobs, public health and a more stable climate? If your administration fails to achieve these fundamental goals, or delivers yet another corporate-favoring deal that threatens such priorities, we will oppose it at every step.
A complete copy of the letter is available online at: http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/CTC-PEOTUS-Trade-Letter-011317.pdf