Fighting for worker justice in the global economy.
New Rules for Trade Backed by Over 100 Members of Congress
The Trade, Reform, Accountability, Development and Empowerment (TRADE) Act seeks to shift the trade debate from a narrow focus to a broader discussion about developing a new and vastly improved trade and globalization model. Much of the political debate about the Colombia FTA, for example, has centered on the issue of violence against trade unionists and impunity. While USLEAP firmly agrees that violence and impunity must be addressed before considering a trade agreement with Colombia, and continues to work hard to keep this issue on the front burner, the current Colombia FTA is essentially an extension of the NAFTA model and fundamentally flawed at multiple levels.
The TRADE Act would require a comprehensive assessment of the impact of current trade agreements before any new agreement is approved. It also stipulates what must be included in future trade agreements (e.g. provisions to protect workers, the environment, farmers, and human rights) and what must not be included (e.g. new rights for foreign investors to weaken domestic laws protecting health and the environment), and opens the door to renegotiating current trade agreements. It also replaces the expedited "fast track" voting procedure on trade agreements with a process to ensure that future trade pacts meet the objectives outlined above.
A wide range of U.S. labor, environmental, farmer, consumer and faith groups has endorsed the TRADE Act. Both the Citizens Trade Campaign and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch have extensive background material, organizing resources, and action suggestions if your members of Congress are not yet co-sponsors of the bill.
USLEAP welcomes the TRADE Act and its critically important effort to outline a strong alternative to the current trade and globalization model that has devastated workers at home and abroad in one race to the bottom after another.
Check out our collaborative labor rights blog, Labor is Not a Commodity!