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Fighting Fast Track: Is It Really China or Us?

Larry Cohen | Posted 02.20.2015 | Politics
Larry Cohen

This is not what democracy looks like -- secret trade deals rammed through in record time that guarantee fat corporate profits, but likely result in net job loss and wage competition that leads to pay stagnation in the U.S. for years to come.

Enormous, Humongous Trade Deficits Widen, Further Exposing Failed Policy

Dave Johnson | Posted 02.11.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

In December the trade deficit in goods and services made its largest percentage jump in more than five years and the 2014 yearly total is its highest since 2012 -- which begs the question: Why is the Obama administration doubling down on the failed trade policies of its predecessors?

'Free Trade' Agreements Promoted for Corporate Benefit Gut the Middle Class, Expand Wealth Inequity & Accelerate Immigration

Michele Swenson | Posted 02.12.2015 | Politics
Michele Swenson

The Washington ruling class often speak out of both sides of their mouths. The political focus in 2015 has shifted abruptly, in word if not in deed, to the middle class.

Let's Take Apart the Corporate Case for Fast Track Trade Authority

Dave Johnson | Posted 01.30.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman appeared before Congress Tuesday to make the corporate argument for "fast track" trade promotion authority.

What Obama Got Wrong in His State of the Union Remarks on Trade

Dave Johnson | Posted 01.30.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

The president briefly spoke about trade in his state of the union speech. He admitted that "past trade deals haven't always lived up to the hype," but then he called for doing more of the same.

Not So Fast, Congress

Leo W. Gerard | Posted 01.19.2015 | Politics
Leo W. Gerard

Instead of the plodding turtle he's normally satirized as, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is all cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof about Trade Promotion Authority, better known as Fast Track.

What You Need to Know When Obama Talks Trade

Dave Johnson | Posted 01.15.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

President Obama is likely to use the State of the Union to push for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the rigged "fast track" trade promotion authority. Here are some facts to counter the expected public relations campaign.

Why We're Still Fighting the Last War on Trade Policy

Stan Sorscher | Posted 02.25.2015 | Business
Stan Sorscher

Is it true that companies trying to manufacture in America, workers, communities and environmentalists need the President to explain their interests to them, as if 25 years of lived experience with NAFTA-style trade deals haven't been sufficiently clear?

How 'Citibank Budget' Push Foreshadows "Fast Track" for Trade Deals

Dave Johnson | Posted 02.16.2015 | Business
Dave Johnson

It is worth examining how the process was rigged to push that budget deal through Congress over the weekend that contained Citibank-written derivative deregulation and all kinds of other goodies for the rich and powerful

Democrats Bow Down to Wall Street

Bill Moyers | Posted 02.15.2015 | Politics
Bill Moyers

Negotiators from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are in Washington this week for a new round of talks which they hope will lead them closer to agreement on the trade deal. President Obama has called passage of TPP a "high priority."

A $10 Million Blow to Fair Trade: How a Grant to Fair Trade USA May Take Down a Movement

Dana Geffner | Posted 01.26.2015 | Business
Dana Geffner

In theory, news of Bob Stiller's challenge grant should have the fair trade movement jumping up and down. Instead, many of us are wondering if this may be the final blow to the meaningful fair trade that we have advocated for so long.

The Parable of the Life-Risking, Faithful Servant

Stan Duncan | Posted 01.18.2015 | Religion
Stan Duncan

Today I'm more and more inclined to think that this parable actually has very little to do with "talents" as we know them and much more to do with money and banking and oppression and power, and also one poor, faithful, schlep who stood up to it all and took a hit for it.

WTO in Seattle - 15 Years Ago

Stan Sorscher | Posted 12.31.2014 | Business
Stan Sorscher

A generation ago, trade deals were about trade. They were really boring, with incomprehensible names. The WTO broadened those goals from boring tariffs to policies that are normally settled through democratic accountable political processes.

The Ballot Box Is the Great Equalizer for Workers

James P. Hoffa | Posted 12.31.2014 | Politics
James P. Hoffa

American workers are facing significant challenges. Whether it's low pay, a system that favors corporations over citizens, a gender wage gap, the effects of unfair trade or a voting system that hampers the most disadvantaged among us, these problems are real. But will those affected the most bother to do something about it?

Viewpoint From Honduras: CAFTA, Forced Immigration, Deportation Connections

Larry Cohen | Posted 12.16.2014 | Politics
Larry Cohen

Let's end Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) which allows multinationals to sue for lost future profits. This means that if Honduras passes new legislation to safeguard the environment from African palm or a higher minimum wage, multinationals that lose profits can sue the government for billions of dollars.

Congress' Smackdown of Fast Track: Sweet 16 Bday

Lori Wallach | Posted 11.25.2014 | World
Lori Wallach

As we recall the sweet-sixteen anniversary of Fast Track's 1998 House-floor trouncing, let's toast to Congress doing the right thing again. Fast Track needs to be boxed and buried for good.

Corporate Courts -- A Big Red Flag on 'Trade' Agreements

Dave Johnson | Posted 11.15.2014 | Business
Dave Johnson

When We the People agree that something should done to make our lives better, it's supposed to get done. Right? You didn't know it, but that whole system changed several years ago. Our government, in our name, signed a document that placed corporate profits above our own democracy.

Trade Deals Set Their Sights on Public Workers

James P. Hoffa | Posted 11.15.2014 | Business
James P. Hoffa

For much of this decade, Tea Party-backed lawmakers have been at war with public sector employees across the country. They've tried, and in a few cases succeeded, in taking away public servants' ability to collectively bargain. But now the battle is going abroad.

A Really Good Reason to Oppose the Next 'Trade' Deals

Stan Sorscher | Posted 11.05.2014 | Business
Stan Sorscher

My job depends on trade. I'm 100 percent in favor of trade. By the same token, we can have good trade policies that raise living standards, or bad trade policies that deindustrialize our economy and distort social and political power relationships.

The Democrats' Agenda Should Be to Fix the Trade Deficit

Dave Johnson | Posted 08.26.2014 | Business
Dave Johnson

The trade deficit is a direct measure of jobs leaving the country. The trade deficit is American dollars going to other countries so people there can spend them. The trade deficit is our standard of living leaking away. And the trade deficit is a major factor driving what remains of the budget deficit.

NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Clinton Global Initiative

Michele Swenson | Posted 08.24.2014 | Denver
Michele Swenson

Twenty years after Clinton signed NAFTA into law, Global Trade Watch reports a 450 percent increase in the U.S. trade deficit, resulting in the export of almost one million jobs, and downward pressure on wages.

Mexico's Oil Privatization: Risky Business

Laura Carlsen | Posted 07.29.2014 | Latino Voices
Laura Carlsen

As capitalism's growth imperative pushes speculation toward the next financial meltdown and fossil fuel production toward planetary destruction, Mexico's political and economic elites are eager to jump in the game.

Opportunities Beyond NAFTA for US-Mexican Collaboration (Pt. 2)

Laura Weiss | Posted 07.16.2014 | Politics
Laura Weiss

The symbiotic relationship between Mexico and the U.S. demands a better understanding of the general public interest of both countries. The U.S. needs to support not only economic agreements but also agreements that are beneficial to the public, international good.

20 Years Later, Criticisms of NAFTA Often Miss the Point (Pt. I)

Laura Weiss | Posted 07.14.2014 | Politics
Laura Weiss

While even the main proponents of NAFTA will admit that it is a flawed agreement, targeting it as the root of every problem that has emerged in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada in the last 20 years is misguided -- but reflects the need for more comprehensive economic and social policy collaboration between the two.

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

Lori Wallach | Posted 06.23.2014 | Politics
Lori Wallach

Whether or not any real deal is made, some sort of "breakthrough" almost certainly will be announced because the U.S.-Japan summit is viewed as a do-or-die moment to inject momentum into the TPP process. Familiarity with kabuki theatre may be useful in interpreting the summit outcomes on the TPP.