|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
May 23rd, 2017
|CONTACT: Lauren Berlekamp, 202-657-7754|
Email: laure[email protected]
Fair Trade Advocates Respond to Trump: Renegotiation of NAFTA Must Include Farmers and Labor Groups
Fair World Project Asserts: Trade Agreements Will Continue to Benefit Corporations Over People Unless Process for Negotiation Changes
PORTLAND, OR – Last week President Trump announced plans to formally renegotiate NAFTA—the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump campaigned on a promise to renegotiate NAFTA so that it benefited working families. Documents leaked in March indicate a trade plan that leaves in the most controversial aspects, such as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which gives corporations more power than democratically elected governments. There has been no plan put forth by the White House to restructure the process for renegotiations, which currently relies heavily on corporate advisors and secret negotiations, nor a plan to mitigate and reverse the damage NAFTA has had on farmers and the food system in all participating countries.
“Trump promised to make trade work for working families. He has never even talked about the importance of changing trade policy to work for small-scale farmers, support agroecology, or meaningfully address climate change, all changes which are desperately needed in our trade framework. And now we are learning that Trump won’t even keep his one promise to working families, but will instead use the renegotiation of NAFTA to hand power over to corporations,” says Fair World Project’s Campaign Director, Kerstin Lindgren.
Trump’s announcement commences a 90-day waiting period before negotiations can begin.
“Though formal negotiations cannot begin for several months, we know that corporate lobbyists are hard at work already,” says Dana Geffner, Executive Director of Fair World Project. “A fundamental value of fair trade is that intended beneficiaries of any policy must be at the table. Trade will never be fair if corporate advisors continue to draft policies while labor and family-scale farmer representatives are excluded.”
“Many of us have been opposed to the damaging effects of NAFTA since its earliest days and have been calling for changes for years,” says Ryan Zinn, Political Director of Fair World Project. “Yet we are not happy with Trump’s announcement because nothing in his trade plan indicates the renegotiated agreement will be any better for farmers, working families, or the environment. If anything, there is a good chance it will put more power in the hands of the multinational corporations that already threaten a sustainable food system.”
The details of the agreement are still to be worked out, but earlier advisory meetings and leaked plans indicate that NAFTA will not be fundamentally different in process or provisions than previous trade agreements.
To read more about Fair World Project’s position on the NAFTA renegotiation, including their call to action, go to: http://bit.ly/2qWGUjr.
Fair World Project (FWP) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the use of the term “fair trade” in the marketplace, expand markets for authentic fair trade, educate consumers about key issues in trade and agriculture, advocate for policies leading to a just economy, and facilitate collaborative relationships to create true system change. FWP publishes a bi-annual publication entitled For a Better World.
For more information, visit: http://www.fairworldproject.org.