This year marks the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As the administration is engaged in two massive trade negotiations, involving a current total of 39 countries in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, what can be learned from two decades of the NAFTA model? Panelists will discuss how current trade policy fails to promote quality employment and a clean environment or combat inequality – and what can be done to develop economic policies that promote shared prosperity and protect people and the planet.
Harmful impacts from NAFTA include a staggering $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and Canada; one million net U.S. jobs lost; a proliferation of “investor-state” attacks on public interest policies; increased environmental degradation in all three countries; stagnant wages; and rising inequality. Despite these failures, the last two decades have seen the NAFTA model replicated and expanded, with the same disappointing results. Two years ago the U.S. signed a Free Trade Agreement with Korea. Today, government data reveals a sharp decrease in U.S. exports to Korea, rising imports and a surge in the U.S. trade deficit with Korea. This April 7th marks the third year anniversary of the Colombia Labor Action Plan, signed along with the US-Columbia FTA to rectify Colombia’s egregious record on worker rights. After three years and only limited reforms, which were enacted without consultation with civil society, anti-worker reprisals, violence, and impunity continue.
Please join the AFL-CIO, the Institute for Policy Studies, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, and the Sierra Club for a congressional briefing of our failed trade model and how to avoid the mistakes of the past in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Agreement.
- Celeste Drake, Trade & Globalization Policy Specialist, AFL-CIO
- Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch
- Manuel Pérez Rocha, Associate Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies
- Ilana Solomon, Responsible Trade Program Director, Sierra Club
RSVPs needed if you do not have a Congressional ID. For more information, please contact: [email protected]
See NAFTA: 20 Years of Costs to Communities and the Environment, the March 2014 report by the Sierra Club, Sierra Club Canada, the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC), the Institute for Policy Studies, and the Council of Canadians.