Jill Stein on Free Trade
Green Party presidential nominee; Former Challenger for MA Governor
Jill Stein: The Clintons' support for NAFTA destroyed millions of jobs, including in Mexico where many farmers became economic refugees.
Jill Stein: Everything that Donald Trump markets is an off-shored manufactured item. So Donald Trump knows all about it. In fact, he advised that people close their factories and move somewhere and then impose low wages on the workers. We are calling for the antidote to NAFTA. The Green New Deal, investing in people, 20 million living wage jobs that will transition us to 100 percent clean energy.
Hillary Clinton: Well, I think that trade is an important issue, of course. We are five percent of the world's population--we have to trade with the other ninety five percent. And we need to have smart fair trade deals.ÿ
The President is also leading the bipartisan effort to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a devastating secretive trade deal known as "NAFTA on steroids" because it will send jobs overseas, undermine wages at home, and roll back protections for workers, public health and the environment.
The President has already won from Congress "fast track authority", with which he will try to ram the TPP through Congress with little debate and no amendments allowed. But word has gotten out about this massive betrayal of democracy and passage of the TPP has been repeatedly delayed for the past year. We must continue to mobilize to defeat the TPP.
In a case filed last week in the same "investor-state" court system under NAFTA, the Canadian corporation Transcanada is suing US taxpayers for $15 billion dollars to cover lost future profits on their recently nixed $3 billion dollar Keystone pipeline project. A similar travesty occurred last month, when an "investor-state" court threatened to charge US taxpayers billions for lost profits due to country-of-origin food labeling--providing critical food safety information about where our meat comes from. This threat forced Congress to repeal the law.
Stein: The dispute resolution method allows corporations to not go to parent country--corporations can sue for lost future profits--it's a crazy concept.
OnTheIssues: To what court would corporations sue?
Stein: "Investor state dispute resolution courts." Three judges appointed by the World Bank, and heard in secret, who can overrule democratically established laws of the US or Mexico or any member of the treaty. A country can have its laws overturned by a corporation saying you are restricting my future profits by requiring that I pay workers the prevailing wage or clean up my toxic waste. It represents an attack on our basic national sovereignty. It means for example you can no longer pass a "local-preferred" policy because some agribusiness says it discriminates against their product .It would not stand the test of public scrutiny, which is why it is secret. What is not treasonous about this?
Stein: Executive action for treaties in contrary to Constitution--they need congressional approval. We as the public should have a chance to view them, so it is dangerous for executive action to take place with international treaties. I very much oppose Fast Track.
Stein: Well, TPP is worse; it's like NAFTA on steroids--very little about trade and more about putting corporate profits first and creating a corporate state.
STEIN: To stop the outsourcing of our jobs, it's very clear we need to stop expanding the free trade agreements that send our jobs overseas and which also undermine wages here at home by effectively threatening workers that if they don't drop their wages and their benefits, that their jobs are gone. We saw the first free trade agreement, NAFTA, enacted under Bill Clinton, a Democrat. We saw it carried out under George Bush, but then we saw Barack Obama expand three free trade agreements and is now negotiating a secret free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that will continue to offshore jobs, undermine wages, and, as well, this time compromise American sovereignty with an international corporate board that can rule on our laws and regulations and say whether or not they pass muster. This is an absolute outrage against American sovereignty, democracy and our economy.
A: I wouldn't use the term "illegal immigration" because human beings are not illegal. The wave of undocumented immigrants resulted from the passage of NAFTA, which was as harmful to economies south of our border as it is to our own economy. People have come here who have lost their jobs, who can no longer support their families, particularly as we have destroyed the economy in South America by dumping agricultural products, as developed by NAFTA. That's where the real solution lies--renegotiating these treaties which have been harmful to American workers as much as they've been harmful to workers in other countries.
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