More Than 1,000 U.S. Civil Society Groups Demand an End to ISDS, the Addition of Strong Labor Standards & More in NAFTA Renegotiation
[March 21, 2018 | CTC]
Washington, D.C. — As U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified on trade policy at a Ways & Means Committee hearing this morning, a cross-sector group of more than 1,000 labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, civil rights, faith, small business, public health and other civil society organizations sent a letter to Congress outlining their shared criteria for renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Among other things, the letter demanded an end to Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and the addition of strong labor and environmental standards with swift and certain enforcement.
In the letter, the 1,043 groups urged Congress to demand that the NAFTA renegotiation:
- Stop outsourcing and raise wages by adding strong labor and environmental standards with swift and certain enforcement;
- Eliminate NAFTA terms that promote the outsourcing of Americans’ jobs, including Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions;
- Protect consumers and the environment and ensure a level playing field for U.S. businesses, farmers and workers by ending NAFTA rules that threaten food safety and food labeling;
- Make medicine more affordable by eliminating NAFTA rules that increase costs;
- Ensure a fair playing field for American job creation by adding strong, enforceable disciplines against currency manipulation;
- Create American jobs and reinforce improved labor and environmental standards by strengthening “rules of origin” and stopping transshipment;
- Protect health and the environment by requiring that all imported goods and all services and service providers meet U.S. standards and add a specific safeguard for domestic environmental, health, labor and other public interest policies;
- Boost the rural economy by overhauling NAFTA rules that harm family farmers; and
- Make the NAFTA renegotiation process transparent and participatory.