After repeatedly saying that he will make the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) “a lot better” or scrap the deal entirely, Donald Trump informed Congress last month that he plans to renegotiate this disastrous trade pact with Canada and Mexico.
Of course, Trump hasn’t exactly been true to his word on much else.
His grandiose proclamations about creating jobs and a new trade policy might be designed to distract us from his daily disasters –who knows. What we do know is that his actions from day one have put corporate interests above the interests of ordinary people.
The Trump administration’s official notice to Congress about his plans to renegotiate NAFTA reveal nothing about how he would change the trade deal.
But a month ago, the administration’s draft plan was leaked. And it looked like a wish list written by the droves of corporate CEOs who have visited him at the White House.
Here’s some of what it contained:
- More incentives for corporations to offshore jobs.
- More shady NAFTA tribunals of three corporate lawyers who can order taxpayers to fork over unlimited sums to corporations.
- Instead of reflecting Trump’s campaign promises to make NAFTA better for working people, the document reflects the wishes of his Cabinet full of corporate cronies.
The Trump administration is also keeping the same corporate-dominated process that crafted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the original NAFTA, in which hundreds of corporate advisers have privileged access to negotiators and everything is done behind closed doors.
Instead of abolishing this corporate advisers’ club, so far it’s business as usual.
NAFTA certainly needs to be replaced. But we need a replacement that puts people and the planet first, not one that hands more power to giant transnational corporations.
Several years ago, no one would have predicted that a unified and mobilized movement of people around the world could have stopped the TPP. But we did. Today, this movement is rising again. And we will ensure that any trade deal negotiated or renegotiated by the Trump administration works for people and the environment — not the interests of transnational corporations and the wealthy elite who run them.