Category Archives: Trade

The Trans-Partisan Trade Revolt

By Stanley Greenberg, Democracy Corps, 9/12/16

Voters of both parties are pressuring politicians to oppose corporate influence over trade.

The heated opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership in this year’s presidential election has surprised the policy elite and pundits. They may be even more astonished by what the public makes of it, because the politics of trade and trade agreements will never be the same.

The American voter is now an irrepressible part of the story.

The two parties’ presidential candidates’ recent Michigan speeches on the economy reflect that reality. Democrat Hillary Clinton declared, “I will stop any trade deals that kills jobs or holds down wages” and oppose the the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the election and as president. Republican Donald Trump condemned every past trade deal that business elites and Clinton have supported, decrying the deals as “stripping this city [Detroit], and this country, of its jobs and wealth.” And Trump attacked Clinton as a supporter of the past pacts and TPP.

The presidential candidate’s opposition to the trade pact is rooted in different dynamics, but reflect the perspective of the voters they seek to represent….

continue reading at Democracy Corps

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ANOTHER Corporation Suing Our Government Thanks To Trade Agreements

by Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future, June 28, 2016

A Canadian corporation is suing the us because we wouldn’t let them build a pipeline across our country (seizing people’s property along the way) so they could sell oil to China.

They can do this because we signed a trade agreement that places corporate rights above our democracy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would increase by an order of magnitude the companies that can sue us for hurting their profits by protecting the environment, consumers, public health and small businesses.

Because They Can

TransCanada Corporation is suing the U.S. government (us) for $15 billion in damages under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules. The company wanted to build the Keystone pipeline all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico so they could ship oil to China. They also wanted to use “eminent domain” to seize land from ranchers, farmers and other property owners along the way to enable this….

continue reading at Campaign for America’s Future

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What’s The Problem With “Free Trade”?

by Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future, March 13, 2016

Our country’s “free trade” agreements have followed a framework of trading away our democracy and middle-class prosperity in exchange for letting the biggest corporations dominate.

There are those who say any increase in trade is good. But if you close a factory here and lay off the workers, open the factory “there” to make the same things the factory here used to make, bring those things into the country to sell in the same outlets, you have just “increased trade” because now those goods cross a border. Supporters of free trade are having a harder and harder time convincing American workers this is good for them.

“Free Trade”

Free trade is when goods and services are bought and sold between countries without tariffs, duties and quotas. The idea is that some countries “do things better” than other countries, which these days basically means they offer lower labor and environmental-protection costs. Allowing other countries to do things in ways that cost less “frees up resources” which can theoretically be used for investment at home.

Opponents of free trade ask for tariffs to “protect” local businesses, jobs, wages and the environment from being undermined by low-cost goods from countries where people and/or the environment are exploited.

Free trade is generally sold as offering lower prices to consumers. It is also sold with claims that it “opens up foreign markets” to U.S. exporters. But it also opens up U.S. markets to imports. …

continue reading at Campaign for America’s Future

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Obama: Show How TPP Would Stop Keystone XL NAFTA Lawsuit

email from Just Foreign Policy, 1/11/16

Urge Pres. Obama to show how the TPP agreement would prevent ISDS suits like TransCanada has filed against rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

In his State of the Union address tomorrow night, President Obama is expected to tout the purported benefits of the Trans Pacific Partnership [TPP] agreement. Supporters of the TPP agreement claimed that TPP critics’ concerns about corporations suing governments under the TPP against environmental, labor rights, and public health policies were overblown, and that reforms in the TPP would address these concerns. Now a Canadian oil company has sued the US for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline under similar provisions of NAFTA. TPP supporters owe us an explanation.

Urge President Obama to show how purported reforms in the TPP would have prevented the Keystone XL NAFTA lawsuit by signing our petition at MoveOn.

One of the most controversial aspects of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” [ISDS] – corporations suing governments in retaliation for laws or regulations that they claim reduce their profits. As Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote, “ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court.” [1] In response to criticism of ISDS provisions in the TPP agreement from Senator Warren, Senator Sanders, [2] and others, the White House promised to put “stronger safeguards” on ISDS in the TPP. [3] Continue reading

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