August 16, 2017
Today marks the first official day that NAFTA renegotiations will take place between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, something Witness for Peace and our partners have demanded from the beginning. But the Trump administration’s recently-released plan for renegotiating NAFTA fails to provide a roadmap to replace it with a deal that is fair to the majority of people in Mexico, the United States and Canada. Instead, it retreads aspects of the same, bad trade policies that have for decades further empowered and privileged big business over people and the environment. And all signs point to it resulting in an agreement that will continue to economically displace people in Mexico, especially in the countryside, and spur forced migration. WFP has documented the damaging effects -of three other FTAs– NAFTA, CAFTA, and the U.S.-Colombia FTA— and we are concerned about these renegotiations that will affect 487 million people, intensifying the race to the bottom and deepening a model that devastates communities throughout the Americas. While Trump opposed the then-proposed “NAFTA on steroids” Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the campaign trail, members of his administration have done an about-face and said on a number of occasions that they’ll actually use the failed TPP as the model for NAFTA renegotiations.
Witness for Peace advocates for a replacement of NAFTA that includes a transparent and participatory process: including environmental standards that are enforced, labor rights for workers, and the end to NAFTA tribunals (ISDS). We support autonomous decisions around food sovereignty and reject U.S. policies that do not support people’s livelihoods, foster healthy communities and protect the environment. Genuine reform of NAFTA would put up a wall against corporate profiteering and tear down barriers to solidarity among peoples.