Council of Canadians trade campaigner Sujata Dey will be at the “Trinational Meeting of Social Movements from Canada, Mexico and the United States on NAFTA” this coming May 26-27 in Mexico City.
The call-out for this ‘encuentro’ highlights, “We call on social movements, trade unions, farmers, indigenous nations, migrants, environmentalists, human rights groups and all other interested sectors/organizations from Mexico, United States and Canada to come together to strengthen trinational work in the face of the ‘re-negotiation’ of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), an agreement that has been negative for the peoples of the three countries. …This gathering gives us all an opportunity to strategize around actions needed to build collective power based on the principles of solidarity and internationalism while sharing alternatives to the dominant neo-liberal agenda.”
It adds, “On May 25, some organizations will hold sectoral trinational meetings specific to labour, agriculture, migrant workers and other key areas.”
Mexican organizations, working together under the umbrella of ‘Mexico Better Off Without FTAs’, are convening this gathering. Organizations in Canada and Quebec involved in this include Common Frontiers, the Trade Justice Network, RQIC, ATTAC-Québec, along with the Quebec-based unions CSD, CSN, FTQ and SPGQ.
NAFTA talks are expected to begin this August and be concluded by April 2018, just months prior to the July 1, 2018 Mexican general election.
As the negotiations approach, the Council of Canadians is demanding:
1- transparency through the entirety of the negotiations – especially in regards to what Trudeau is conceding to Trump to maintain NAFTA
2- meaningful consultations with the general public, as well as consultations and consent from First Nations
3- removal of the controversial Chapter 11 investor-state provision
4- removal of all references to water in NAFTA as a good, service or investment, unless to allow for the specific protection or exclusion of water
5- an exemption from NAFTA’s energy proportionality rule in order to meet our Paris climate commitments
6- a North American Auto Pact to ensure that each country receives a proportional share of employment and investment, and that workers have good jobs and fair wages
7- strengthening the exemption of medicare in NAFTA to allow for an expansion of public health care in areas including pharmacare
8- protection of farmers and local control over farm and food polices
9- the right to use procurement to create jobs and local economic projects
10- clear rules assessing that trade serves communities and people, not the other way around.
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says, “We see this as an opportunity to re-open NAFTA in a large sense. We will push the Trudeau government not just to sit at the table and react as Trump swings, but to come to the table with its own demands. Time to go back to the drawing board.”
To send a message to the Prime Minister that highlights our core demands, please click here.
In the coming weeks, The Council of Canadians will be releasing fact sheets and handimation videos, as well as organizing a cross-country day of action to be held on June 26. More details coming soon.