For Immediate Release: Jan. 24, 2017
Contact: Aaron Lehmer-Chang, (415) 613-4781, email@example.com
California Coalition Urges Trump to Prioritize Workers and Environmental Health Across Borders with NAFTA Renegotiation
Oakland, CA — As President Trump moves to formally withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and commence renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the California Trade Justice Coalition is calling on his administration to commit to an open, public process that yields broadly shared economic benefits for working families in Canada, Mexico, and the United States while improving environmental health.
“It’s a powerful testament to the millions of people both here and abroad who organized for years against the TPP and NAFTA that we are now turning the tide against these corporate trade schemes,” said Aaron Lehmer-Chang, Director of the California Trade Justice Coalition. “But simply stating he will renegotiate NAFTA and withdraw from the TPP tells us nothing about whether President Trump will stand up for workers and the environment. The real question is if he will replace them with better trade policies or just more corporate power-grabs.”
So far, the Trump Administration has not laid out detailed plans for what changes he will pursue in NAFTA renegotiations. The California Trade Justice Coalition’s national affiliate, the Citizens Trade Campaign, has released a set of policies on its website that outline priority strategies to benefit workers, consumers, farmers, trade-impacted communities, and the environment.
Organized labor is particularly concerned that NAFTA renegotiations actually produce real benefits for workers. “If Trump is serious about using NAFTA to benefit working people, he can show it by making all NAFTA negotiations transparent to the public, rather than making them in closed-door rooms where big corporations pay to play,” said Robert Longer, Legislative-Political Director of Communications Workers of America – Local 9421.
With so many environmental crises still worsening, NAFTA renegotiation could also make or break conditions for communities across North America. “Given that Trump is stacking his cabinet full of Big Oil and Wall Street insiders, there’s ample reason to be skeptical that NAFTA renegotiation will benefit public health and the environment,” said Ella Teevan, Northern California Organizer with Food & Water Watch. “We need strong, enforceable environmental protections for our communities, and a shift away from polluting fossil fuels, not an administration that denies climate change.”
In the months ahead, the California Trade Justice Coalition and its allies will be hosting a series of town halls and public forums highlighting voices from communities that have been impacted by NAFTA and other past trade agreements, while promoting trade justice solutions that can improve local economies, communities, and environmental health across North America. For more information, please visit our website at www.catradejustice.org.