On Wednesday, the White House said Trump will renegotiate what he once called “one of the worst deals ever.”
Twenty years after its 1994 enactment, Global Trade Watch director Lori Wallach said she “remember(ed) crying” on the day NAFTA took effect – January 1, 1994.
“Not only did promises made by NAFTA’s proponents not materialize, but many results are exactly the opposite,” she explained.
Around a million US jobs were lost. A “staggering $181 billion US trade deficit with…Mexico and Canada” was incurred.
Over a million small Mexican farmers were displaced. Immigration to America doubled. Undocumented millions came north, desperate for work lost at home.
Predatory corporations were paid over $360 million by so-called “investor-state” tribunals, serving monied interests exclusively.
NAFTA and similar deals contributed to growing income inequality in all three countries. “NAFTA’s outcomes (20 years later shows) how damaging this type trade agreement is for most people,” said Wallach.
The only equitable solution is fair, not free trade, benefiting everyone, not business and large investors exclusively.
On Wednesday, Trump broke another promise to ordinary Americans, saying “(i)t is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation.”
“It is an honor to deal with both President Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.”
Whatever is agreed on almost surely will be worse, not better, for workers in all three countries, better for monied interests alone.
In early April, the White House notified Congress of its intent to renegotiate NAFTA. Material leaked showed it largely replicates TPP’s final text, including:
• favoring investors over consumers;
• reneging on halting jobs offshored to low-wage countries;
• instead of buy and hire American, his plan maintains jobs-destroying NAFTA rules.
Trump’s trade policy is corporate/investor-friendly at the expense of worker rights and consumer protections.
Virtually all his pledges to working-class Americans were abandoned. Like his predecessors, he’s an anti-democratic corporatist/warmaker, a reckless scoundrel.
He’s only just begun, the worst likely ahead.