Tomorrow, the NAFTA renegotiation round officially begins. Here's a crazy thought: let's not walk out of it with foreign corporations having special abilities to challenge laws in a private corporate justice system (ISDS) where 95% of the money gets awarded to the world's biggest corporations.
Almost no working people use this system, and when they do, they almost always lose. It's a cudgel that foreign corporations can use to smash local, state, and national decisions they dislike, to protect criminal CEOs, and to attack worker-focused supports.
Of course, anti-labor groups like the Texas Association of Business, along with fossil fuel interests like the Texas Oil and Gas Association, want to keep ISDS. They love special privileges for corporations that disadvantage workers' ability to bargain collectively.
We can't let corporations join with the Goldman Sachs faction inside the Trump administration to push a "modernization" proposal that keeps ISDS in some speedy, TPP-like agreement. Reports indicate they are pushing to finish the talks before the 2018 elections. Gee, I wonder why?
Forget TPP-style NAFTA 2.0. We need a just renegotiation of NAFTA that includes concrete, enforceable labor rights with teeth (parental leave, organizing/collective bargaining rights, etc.), that benefits workers through better wages and labor standards, and that doesn't erode democracy.
For now, bad trade deals are costing full-time workers making median wages about $2,000/year according to EPI, and, according to Labor Notes, "the U.S. Labor Department has certified nearly a million U.S. jobs as lost due to NAFTA—and millions more have been certified as lost under subsequent trade agreements."
Don't tell me you're on the side of working people if you're working to prop up this corporate-friendly system.
In Texas' 21st Congressional District, I'm fighting to replace a worker-bashing Republican with pro-labor representation that will fight back against corporations and anti-union interest groups. Learn more here.