About the CTJC

Who we are:

The California Trade Justice Coalition is a growing alliance of labor, environmental, public health, immigrant rights, human rights, and socially conscious business leaders — all committed to building a strong California economy that works for all. Founded in 2016, we’re an affiliate of the national Citizens Trade Campaign, and a fiscally-sponsored project of Earth Island Institute.

We work together to:

  • Demand that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) be renegotiated in a way that lifts up workers, protects our environment, and improves public health across North America.
  • Stop the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other bad trade agreements that threaten jobs, the environment, and democracy.
  • Hold Congress and elected leaders accountable to a socially just, environmentally sustainable, and democratic economic agenda that puts the health of people and communities first.
  • Forge a strong, inclusive, and cross-sector alliance of committed people and organizations with the power to enact a proactive fair trade agenda, both regionally and nationally.

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Popularize
Popularize a trade justice agenda and perspective through engaging social media campaigns, traditional media strategies, and public forums.

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Connect
Mobilize grassroots and grasstops leaders through high-profile public demonstrations, press events, and other actions to pressure elected officials.

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Educate
Educate elected leaders, community organizers, and the general public about current trade agreements and opportunities to take effective action.

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Organize
Organize cross-sector visits with elected officials in key districts statewide to pressure them to vote and publicly support a trade justice agenda.

TIME FOR A NEW NAFTA

WHAT’S WRONG WITH NAFTA?

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law in 1994 by President Bill Clinton. Although NAFTA’s proponents promised it would benefit workers and consumers across the continent, the agreement handed more power over to large corporations while hurting family farms, endangering workers’ rights, and poisoning our air and water in the US as well as in Canada and Mexico.

  • Millions of Mexicans lost their jobs and means of subsistence due to cheap imports from the US, causing mass displacement and exacerbating poverty.
  • For the jobs that were created by NAFTA, the trade deal strengthened corporations’ hand in pushing for ever-lower wages and subjecting workers to abhorrent health and safety risks.
  • NAFTA established “investor-state dispute settlements,” a mechanism by which big corporations can use unaccountable international tribunals to sue local governments for trying to pass laws that protect working families and our environment.

A Blueprint for a Better Deal

Since its inception, NAFTA has inspired mass protest across the continent. It was NAFTA’s deep unpopularity with the American people that led President Trump to make renegotiating NAFTA a cornerstone of his campaign. Now, working people across the US are demanding that Trump fulfill his promises and deliver a trade deal that works for us, not another corporate power-grab.

We demand that President Trump withdraw from NAFTA unless changes are made that:

  • Eliminate rules that incentivize the offshoring of jobs and that empower corporations to attack democratic policies in unaccountable tribunals;
  • Defend jobs and human rights by adding strong, binding and enforceable labor and environmental standards to the the agreement’s core text and requiring that they are enforced;
  • Overhaul NAFTA rules that harm family farmers and feed a destructive agribusiness model;
  • End NAFTA rules that threaten the safety of our food;
  • Eliminate NAFTA rules that drive up the cost of medicines;
  • Eliminate NAFTA rules that undermine job-creating programs like Buy American;
  • Add strong, enforceable disciplines against currency manipulation to ensure a fair playing field for job creation;
  • Strengthen “rules of origin” and stop transshipment so as to create jobs and reinforce labor and environmental standards;
  • Require imported goods and services to meet domestic safety and environmental rules; and
  • Add a broad protection for environmental, health, labor and other public interest policies.