iOS app Android app

Lori Wallach
Lori Wallach is the director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. A Harvard-trained lawyer, Wallach has promoted the public interest regarding globalization and international commercial agreements in every forum: Congress and foreign parliaments, the courts, government agencies, and the media. Described as “Ralph Nader with a sense of humor” in a Wall Street Journal profile, “the Trade Debate's Guerrilla Warrior” in the National Journal, and “Madame Defarge of Seattle” by the Institute for International Economics, Wallach has testified on NAFTA, GATT-WTO, and other trade issues before over 30 U.S. congressional committees, numerous other countries’ legislatures, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Wallach’s work in “translating” arcane trade legalese – indeed, entire proposed international commercial agreements – into relevant, accessible prose has had significant national and international impact.

Entries by Lori Wallach

New Data Show U.S. Trade Deficit Doubled, More Jobs Lost Under Obama Trade Deal That Was Template for the TPP

(2) Comments | Posted May 4, 2016 | 3:18 PM


Today's alarming fourth-year trade data on President Obama's U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) arrived just as the Obama administration has started its hard sell to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). And that is a real problem for the White House.


Read Post

Panama, Trade Agreement Promises & The TPP

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 9:51 AM


With the presidential primary spotlighting a bipartisan trade revolt, defenders of our status quo trade policies are on the defensive. Their latest claim: the Panama Papers leak shows that the U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) with Panama fixed that nation's infamous tax haven...

Read Post

The Choice Is Not Between TPP or No Trade

(1) Comments | Posted March 24, 2016 | 1:12 PM

The high-profile presidential primary revolt against decades of damaging American trade policy finally has forced the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) into mainstream media coverage.

The usual free-trade-agreement cheerleading squad of chronic-job-offshoring corporations, Wall Street, agribusiness and their coterie of think tanks and pundits are unnerved.

After spending billions in campaign...

Read Post

Cancer Patient Lays Bare the Danger of TPP and the "Pharma Bro" Problem

(11) Comments | Posted February 11, 2016 | 11:23 AM

Last week, on World Cancer Day, the fatal greed of Big Pharma was spotlighted in unexpected ways. Smirking "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli, who had unapologetically jacked up medicine prices from $13.50 to $750 per tablet, invoked his right against self-incrimination when hauled before Congress in a fraud investigation....

Read Post

Public Interest Takes a Hit Even When Phillip Morris' Investor-State Attack on Australia Is Dismissed

(1) Comments | Posted January 5, 2016 | 2:22 PM

What happens when a government "wins" an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) attack provides a cautionary tale for the threats posed by the Trans-Pacific Partnerships (TPP). If enacted, the TPP would double U.S. ISDS liability overnight.

Recently, Phillip Morris International's infamous ISDS attack on Australia was dismissed. An ISDS tribunal ruled...

Read Post

WTO Orders Sanctions Unless U.S. Cuts Consumer Labels, Disproving Obama TPP Claims

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2015 | 8:40 AM

Yesterday's World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against the country-of-origin meat labels (COOL) that Americans rely on to make informed choices about their food provides a glaring example of how trade agreements can undermine U.S. public interest policies. The WTO authorized over $1 billion annually in trade sanctions against the United...

Read Post

Text Still Secret One Month After TPP Deal

(6) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 5:41 PM

By Evan Ottenfeld and Lori Wallach

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12 nation agreement seven years in the making, were finally concluded a month ago. Yet the Obama administration still has not released the text of the agreement. Not even to Congress, much less the public.


Read Post

Fast Track Down

(14) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 9:19 AM

The Fast Track trade authority package was rejected Friday because two years of effort by a vast corporate coalition, the White House and GOP leaders -- and weeks of deals swapped for yes votes -- could not assuage a majority in the House of Representatives facing constituents' concerns that more...

Read Post

Polls Show Americans Oppose Our Trade Policy but Like Trade

(2) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 10:21 AM

The corporate PR firms were at full tilt yesterday when this year's Gallup "trade" poll findings came out. The mission was to counter the growing congressional and public opposition to fast-track trade authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive 12-nation NAFTA-style agreement.

They did not have much to work...

Read Post

Lame White House Response to Sen. Warren's Warning About TPP Investor Privileges

(1) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 10:50 AM

If you have not yet read Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Massachusetts) spot-on Washington Post op-ed exposing the perils to public interest safeguards and our national sovereignty and solvency posed by investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "trade" deal, do so immediately.

The speedy response...

Read Post

SOTU Schizophrenia: Middle-Class Jobs vs. Fast Track and TPP

(12) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 12:25 PM

Tonight's State of the Union speech will spotlight a core conflict in the Obama presidency that will shape his legacy: either Obama will be the president whose initiatives to address income inequality and wage stagnation helped rebuild America's middle class, or he will prioritize a trade agenda that will offshore...

Read Post

Congress' Smackdown of Fast Track: Sweet 16 Bday

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 5:53 PM

Sixteen years ago today, 171 Democrats and 71 GOP Representatives united to vote down then-President Bill Clinton's request for Fast Track authority. As President Barack Obama now seeks to revive the extreme Nixon-era trade procedure, the 1998 Fast Track smackdown is worth remembering.

Clinton, known for "trade expansion"...

Read Post

Lame Duck Hunt and the Fast Track Flush, Installment #1

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 5:57 PM

Yet more secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are underway today in Washington. Thanks to some hearty protestors braving the heat and humidity to hold a location pointer out in front of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the word got out.

Read Post

TPP Would Gut Buy American: Happy July 4th!

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 3:50 PM

Red, white and sounds unbelievable. But, indeed, as Americans celebrate July 4th this year, U.S. trade negotiators are locked behind closed doors at a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating round in Ottawa gutting Buy American policies.

The Buy American Act requires that most federal government procurement contracts...

Read Post

Obama's Asia Trip: TPP Make-or-Break Moment?

(1) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 6:55 PM

A major goal of President Barack Obama's Asia trip is to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after four years of negotiations have resulted in talks deadlocked over scores of issues and growing U.S. congressional and public opposition.

Whether or not any real deal is made, some sort...

Read Post

Trade Pact Used as TPP Template Leads to Decrease in U.S. Exports -- Seriously!

(6) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 12:00 PM

In the two years since implementation of the U.S.-Korea Free Agreement (FTA), U.S. exports to Korea have declined 11 percent according to recently-released government data. Really.

That's a first: usually these NAFTA-style deals that are sold with promises of expanded exports and related job creation end up...

Read Post

2013 Trade Data Show Why Fast Tracking a TPP NAFTA Expansion Is a Very Bad Idea

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 2:42 PM

The only good news in the just-released 2013 U.S. trade data is that it can only reinforce growing congressional and public opposition to more-of-the-same trade agreements.

The White House is promising a major push to obtain Fast Track trade authority to railroad the massive Trans-Pacific...

Read Post

Obama's State of the Union Dilemma: Pushing Fast Track for TPP Would Increase Income Inequality

(10) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 9:11 AM

In his upcoming State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama is expected to prioritize what is emerging as his legacy issue: combatting America's growing wealth inequality. Expect him to promote policies to create new middle-class jobs, especially in manufacturing, and counter the erosion of wages now undermining workers economy-wide.

Read Post

Corporate Lobby Cheers Controversial Fast Track Bill

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 3:32 PM

The corporate news releases applauding the introduction of legislation to revive the controversial Fast Track trade authority were flying fast and furious last week.

The Nixon-era procedure, which allows trade pacts to be signed before Congress approves them, and then to be railroaded through Congress in 90 days with limited...

Read Post

NAFTA at 20: One Million U.S. Jobs Lost, Higher Income Inequality

(6) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 3:00 PM

My New Year's celebrations this year were haunted by memories of January 1, 1994 -- the day that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect. I remember crying that day, thinking about the proud men and women in union halls across America, the Mexican campesinos and the...

Read Post