Trump has left the possibility open that his administration could be interested in joining the Trans-Pacific Parternship (TPP) during declarations at the World Economic Forum. This represents a drastic change from his original position of rejecting the deal during his campaign and at the beginning of his presidency.
Of course, it is too early to tell what his intentions are and how likely it is for this to become a forefront of his political agenda given his original opposition. Nonetheless, the trade justice movement must be very wary of such declarations. Just as Trump is willing to re-consider the deal, so may any president after him. The movement to stop the United States from joining the TPP must always be wary of this possibility.
This is why the struggle to replace NAFTA with a deal that truly benefits people and the planet must continue to make demands upon the United States Trade Representative and Congress. If we do not eliminate the provisions from these negotiations that inspired the TPP or could draw from the TPP, then we are already losing the fight to end the TPP in all of its forms.
NAFTA’s Round 6 of negotiations have finished with ‘progress’ towards reaching a deal. Canada and Mexico have made a counter-proposal to maintain an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system without the United States in it or having say in the creation of the mechanism. The end of ISDS for the United States would be an important landmark for the trade justice movement, yet if it remains an international standard that our neighbors are subject to it we have not attained global justice from corporate trade deals. Additionally, the US could always re-join the ISDS system if it still exists within NAFTA, TPP, and other deals.
Let us not forget that already, the outsourcing of jobs in the US has continued under Trump. According to Lori Wallach and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, “Hundreds of the very Carrier workers who Trump pledged to protect saw their jobs shipped to Mexico, along with 300 jobs across Indianapolis at Rexnord and another 600 at Nabisco in Chicago. Hundreds of Milwaukee GE workers saw their jobs shipped to Canada this fall, while Microsoft is outsourcing jobs to China. The list goes on.”
Trade for people and planet is our objective, fair trade for everyone involved. No more outsourcing of US jobs. No more running away from the international commitment to curb climate change. We need trade justice today.
Trade for People and Planet