Tri-National Multisectoral Forum 20 years of NAFTA: Enough Free Trade! No to the TPP!: Joint Declar

Tri-National Multisectoral Forum

20 years of NAFTA: Enough Free Trade! No to the TPP!

México D.F., January 28-31, 2014

JOINT DECLARATION

On the 20th Anniversary of the signing of NAFTA, labor unions, farmers, women, environmentalists, and human rights organizations from Mexico, the United States, Canada and Quebec came together in a Tri-national Forum in Mexico City. We have assessed the impact on human, environmental, labor, social, and cultural rights. We conclude that the benefits of NAFTA were exaggerated to sell the agreement to the public. The promises made were not fulfilled, on the contrary, we have seen a rise in inequality, impoverishment of the vast majority of the population, loss of employment, job insecurity, environmental degradation, deterioration of social cohesion and increased violence.

It is clear that the economic and labor policies imposed by trade agreements lead to increasingly widespread exploitation and commercialization of public goods and ecosystems, as well as to a deepening commodification of women´s bodies. This happens by way of the privatization of public services, the weakening of social security systems and its disproportionately negative impact on women who assume the responsibilities of the care economy, and through the closure of thousands of factories, eliminating quality jobs excluding thousands of people, in particular young people, from the right to collective bargaining. It also happens through increased control by transnational corporations over sectors such as agriculture, food, energy, extractives and fishing. Community resistance to these attacks has led to the repression of democratic unions and social movements, the violation of indigenous rights, the criminalization of protest, and militarization.

NAFTA has altered the balance of power in favor of transnational corporations through Chapter 11 investment protection. This includes investor-to-state dispute settlement, which gives corporations the ability to challenge democratic laws in special courts with extraterritorial jurisdiction. This leaves communities helpless and environmental conservation vulnerable. Increased corporate control has failed to generate shared prosperity for the community, but has enriched transnational enterprises. Particularly in Mexico (and Central America under CAFTA), it has increased the informal economy, resulting in more poverty and forcing millions of people to seek work in the north, where they encounter discrimination.

Currently, the failed model of NAFTA is being replicated in new agreements, specifically the Trans-Pacific Strategic Partnership (also known as TPP), in order to further expand the power of transnational corporations and impose greater restrictions on government regulations. These treaties are being negotiated in secret, behind citizens’ backs.

The organizations gathered at this forum condemn the NAFTA trade model and demand its renegotiation with greater transparency and equity among our communities. We also demand:

  1. That all trade negotiations be opened to civil society participation, which implies prior publication of the texts, and the construction of mechanisms for information sharing, social participation and deliberation, while avoiding the imposition of fast track.

  2. The removal of investor-state dispute settlement mechanism to strengthen governments’ ability to protect economic, social, cultural, environmental and labor rights, particularly for migrants.

  3. That effective mechanisms to protect human, labor, and environmental rights are included in the texts of trade agreements, with sanctions equivalent to those for violation of commercial provisions.

We demand the supremacy of human rights over corporate privileges. We need to develop new models of cooperation and international exchange based on justice, solidarity and the highest ecological standards. Therefore, we reject the current trade model reflected in the attempt to impose the TPP.

We are committed to strengthening our joint movements at the sectoral and national levels, to intensify the fight in North America against this trade model, and to promote alternative models of integration.

We call on organizations and the general public to mobilize against the Three Amigos summit in Toluca on February 19, 2014, to express opposition to the TPP and other initiatives that deepen the prevailing model of free trade.

Approved on January 31, 2014 in Mexico City, DF, by the participants in this forum and delegates from the following organizations:

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND NETWORKS

IndustriALL

Latinamerican Network on Debt, Development and Human Rights -Latindadd- (Peru)

Tri-National Solidarity Allianceof Unions (TSA)

UNI Global Union

CANADA

Networks

Common Frontiers Canada

Trade Justice Network (TJN)

National and Local Organizations

Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)

Council of Canadians

Maquila Solidarity Network -MSN-

National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)

UNIFOR

United Steelworkers (USW Canada)

USW-Canada Humanity Fund

QUEBEC

Networks

Quebec Coalition on the Social and Environmental Impacts of Transnational Corporations in Latin America (QUISETAL)

Quebec Network on Continental Integration (RQIC)


National and Local Organizations

ATTAC-Quebec

Central of Democratic Unions (CSD)

Committee for Human Rights in Latin America (CDHAL)

Confederation of National Unions (CSN)

Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain (CCMM-CSN)

Friends of the Earth Quebec / Quebec Network of Environmental Groups (RQGE)

Quebec Federation of Workers (FTQ)

Quebec Women’s Federation (FFQ) / World March of Women

Steelworkers-Quebec (USW-Qc)

UNITED STATES

Networks

Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC)

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)

National and Local Organizations

Academics from the University of California in Los Angeles

Academics from the University of Santa Barbara in Los Angeles

AFL-CIO

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)

Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Global Economy Project

National Farmers Union (NFU)

Public Citizen

United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)

Witness for Peace

MEXICO

Networks

Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos (AMAP)

Alianza Nacional de Cooperativas (ALCONA)

Campaña trabajo Digno Derecho de las Mujeres

Coalición de organizaciones mexicanas por el derecho al agua (COMDA)

Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC)

Red de acción sobre Plaguicidas y Alternativas en México A.C. (RAPAM)

Red de Género y Economía (REDGE)

Red de Productores Sociales de Vivienda