Trump’s proposed version of NAFTA falls far short of the long held demands of the labor, environmental, and human rights communities. This webinar is an important opportunity to provide our movement with information about the impact that NAFTA has had and how Trump’s NAFTA could continue to harm working people and the environment in all three countries. It will also provide grassroots activists with context and talking points for contacting their member of congress and offer ways to get involved in the fight against Trump’s pro-corporate NAFTA.


* Will Wiltschko, Director, California Trade Justice Coalition (moderator)
* Selden Prentice, Trade and Climate Activist, 350 Seattle
* David Bacon, Photojournalist and Activist
* Hannah Lyon, Cancer Families for Affordable Medicine

Within the coming months, Congress will decide whether or not Trump’s NAFTA deal is passed in its current form. The next 60 days will be critical to pressure Congress to either fix the NAFTA proposal by reopening the texts to remove the dangerous provisions on pharmaceuticals and add enforcement mechanisms, or keep it from coming to a vote if the Trump administration refuses to allow changes to the deal.


The United States exports a growing number of weapons to Mexico with almost no controls on where they go. These gun exports, together with massive illegal trafficking from U.S. retail gun sales, are part of the growing human rights crisis that is devastating migrants as well as Mexican communities.

And Trump wants to make it even easier for weapons manufacturers to sell and export firearms in Mexico and other countries. “Semi-automatic weapons, flamethrowers and even some grenades will become easier for U.S. weapons manufacturers to export overseas under new rules being put in place by the Trump administration and obtained by NBC News.”

View our webinar to learn more about this issue and how you can join a growing movement working to stop U.S. guns from getting into the hands of human rights abusers.

Hear from expert panelists including:

  • Eugenio Weigend is a senior policy analyst [2] at the Center for American Progress and author of numerous articles on U.S. gun trafficking to Mexico. [3]
  • Jessica Molina is a human rights defender from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas whose husband was disappeared by Mexican Navy troops in March 2018. Jessica has become a leading spokesperson for dozens of family members of disappeared people in Nuevo Laredo. [4]
  • Yanira Arias is the National Campaigns Manager for Alianza Americas, where she has coordinated actions in response to the detention and stigmatization of thousands of Central American children and their families. A Temporary Protected Status holder from El Salvador, she brings expertise on health disparities and community participation.
  • John Lindsay-Poland coordinates the Stop US Arms to Mexico project [5] of Global Exchange, and also has written extensively about the U.S. gun trade and its impacts in Mexico. [6]
  • Moderated by Janice Gallagher, assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, Newark. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Mexico and Colombia and wrote “Tipping the Scales of Justice: The Role of Citizen Action in Strengthening the Rule of Law.” A true public intellectual, Janice also recently led an international elections observation mission in Tamaulipas, Mexico’s most dangerous border state.

[1] “Trump Administration Eases Regulations on Gun Exports, Raising Concerns,” The New York Times, January 31, 2019.
[2] Eugenio Weigend biographical page 
[3] “Should Mexico Adopt Permissive Gun Policies: Lessons from the United States,” Mexican Law Review, January 24, 2019. 8
[4] “Will Mexico’s New President Seek Justice for the Disappeared?” The Nation, January 28, 2019.
[5] Stop US Arms to Mexico web site
[6] “How U.S. Guns Sold to Mexico End Up with Security Forces Accused of Crime and Human Righhts Abuses,” The Intercept, April 26, 2018.

Friday November, 30th, the Trump Administration held a signing ceremony with Mexico and Canada for a supposedly “new” version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But this retread NAFTA fails on jobs, wages, human rights, the environment and public health. It also has big giveaways for the oil and pharmaceutical industry that make it even easier for them to abuse people, our communities, and the environment.

Trump, who started the whole renegotiation process has threatened and cajoled Mexico and Canada into signing an agreement that will face stiff opposition in all three countries as the ugly details become more widely known.

This is a bad agreement and the next few months will be critically important in applying grassroots pressure to Congress to either fix the NAFTA proposal by reopening the texts to add real worker and environmental enforcement mechanisms, or nix it.

View our NAFTA 2.0 Fix it or Nix it Facebook live streamed webinar above.

This live streamed webinar is an important opportunity to provide our movement with information about the impact that NAFTA has had and how Trump’s NAFTA could continue to harm working people and the environment in all three countries. It will also provide grassroots activists with tools to contact their member of congress and get involved in the fight against Trump’s pro-corporate NAFTA.

We have an exciting lineup of panelists:

Arthur Stamoulis serves as Executive Director of the Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC), a national coalition of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer and human rights organizations working together for trade policies that promote a just and sustainable global economy.

Anthony Torres is the Associate Campaign Representative with the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Office. He is a systems-level thinker, political ecologist, and climate activist whose work focuses on the creation of new collective stories to challenge dominant narratives of extraction, exploitation, and extinction.

Ted Lewis has led Global Exchange’s work for peace, democracy, and human rights in Mexico since the dawn of the NAFTA era in 1994. Throughout that time he has written, spoken-out, and organized resistance to North American trade policies that undermine labor rights, displace people, disrupt communities, and devastate the environment. Ted’s analysis been published widely and he is cited frequently in print, radio, television and online media.

Catherine Houston is the Political, Rapid Response and Women of Steel Coordinator for the United Steelworkers District 12. She is an activist and grassroots communication and mobilization educator for the United Steelworkers, fighting for fair trade, worker rights, women’s issues, safety and health, and sound legislative policy on behalf of all workers and working families. Catherine trains workers to be actively engaged rapid response activists and Women of Steel to be activist leaders through education, growth and empowerment.

Manuel Pérez-Rocha is an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington and an Associate of the Transnational Institute (TNI) in Amsterdam. He is a Mexican national who has led in efforts to promote just and sustainable alternative approaches to trade and investment agreements for two decades. He has long been a thought and action leader of tri-national organizing for economic justice.


We join our partners from Canada, Mexico and across the United States calling out the Trump NAFTA Proposal because it falls short on Jobs, Wages, Human Rights and the Environment.
Our friend, Arthur Stamoulis, Citizens Trade Campaign’s executive director, says, “A lot more work is needed for a NAFTA replacement to benefit working people and the planet.” We agree.
Here is the rest of his response to the proposed text for a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):
“The Trump administration’s current NAFTA proposal fails to include the critical changes necessary to protect jobs, raise wages, defend human rights and reverse environmental damage.  Substantial additional changes are needed if the pact is going to provide real benefits to people other than corporate elites.
“Each week, NAFTA continues to destroy livelihoods across the continent.  Unfortunately, the deal on offer does not include the enforcement mechanisms for labor and environmental standards needed to prevent employers from moving jobs abroad to areas where worker rights and environmental protection are routinely ignored.  Without strong labor and environmental rules with swift and certain enforcement, Trump’s version of NAFTA will continue to facilitate the outsourcing of jobs, the suppression of wages and the dumping of toxins.  While steps forward have been made in other areas, a NAFTA replacement without this fundamental fix is a nonstarter.
“In addition, Trump’s proposal is significantly worse than the original NAFTA on access to medicines.  The world needs trade policies that increase the affordability of life-saving medications — not ones that extend monopolies for pharmaceutical giants and raise healthcare costs.”Beyond failing to even mention climate change, the current proposal also seeks to maintain special rights for some of the planet’s most egregious corporate polluters.  If allowed to move forward as written, these handouts to oil and gas companies would prolong NAFTA’s ongoing threats to our air, water and climate.
“As much as the White House wants to spin this as a win, a lot more work is needed before there’s a NAFTA replacement deal that working families can be happy about.  All parties involved should continue working towards a trilateral agreement that actually benefits working people and the planet.”



Happy New Year!  We’re ready to build a powerful movement for change in 2018!

We are already hard at work confronting Trump’s attacks on our communities, our rights, and our future. And thanks to all of you who made a special year-end gift in 2017, we are ready to rise and resist his disastrous agenda in the year ahead, and to work with you to reclaim the future we know is possible.

Here is what we’re working right now and how you can take action:


A Clean Dream Act: The first order of business in 2018, demand Congress pass a Clean Dream Act. Democrats will once again have the opportunity tomake this a requirement before signing onto the next spending bill. Let’s make sure they stand with Dreamers and give security to almost 800,000 deserving young people who came to the U.S. as children. Call Congresss now!


Replace NAFTA: We are demanding a new NAFTA that will benefit workers in all three countries, that ensures environmental and labor protections, and that does away with investor-state dispute settlement. Follow us on Facebook for the latest developments.


Bridges Not Borders: Reality Tours continue to build people-to-people ties, understanding and unity around the world. Travel with us in 2018!


Promise to Protect: Keystone XL is a violation of Indigenous rights and it will be stopped (again). We’re standing with Indigenous leaders in the #PromisetoProtect. Join a wave of #NoKXL resistance. Have you taken the Pledge? Sign up now.


End the Blockade Against Cuba: Global Exchange will continue to play a central role in building understanding between the people of the U.S. and Cuba by expanding our program of educational travel tothe island. We oppose attempts by Trump to roll back progress made toward normal relations and an end the blockade. Come with us to Cuba in 2018!


Town Hall Summer: In the spirit of Freedom Summer and so many summers since, we want to air the critical issues of the day in town squares and public halls across the U.S. We will bring people together tomobilize around core issues and build a broad civic groundswell ahead of the critical mid-term elections.

Thank you for joining us! We’re proud to have you by our side as we continue our work for peace, justice, and human rights.

The following post by Raul Burbano, Kristen Beifus and Manuel Pérez-Rocha, originally appeared on The Tyee.


A 16th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations is underway in Singapore this week. Canada and Mexico join the nine other TPP countries for the second time since the U.S. government invited its NAFTA partners to join late last year.

The TPP is a super-sized trade deal-expanding on so called “next generation” trade and investment deals that NAFTA countries have pursued in the wake of the stalemate at the World Trade Organization. This pluri-lateral agreement poses serious new threats to North American communities — threats that a tri-national movement of trade justice activists is preparing to fight in the lead-up to a possible July TPP negotiating round in Canada.

Since NAFTA was signed almost 20 years ago, all three North American countries have seen good jobs vanish, worsening income inequality, public services weakened through underfunding or offloaded to the private sector, increased food insecurity (in particular in Mexico), and ecosystems on the point of breaking. NAFTA promised a flourishing North American economy that would benefit all. In Jan. 2014, NAFTA has been in place for 20 years and the promised trickle down benefits have not been realized by communities.

Three nations, no winners

In the past 10 years, Canada has lost 500,000 manufacturing jobs. A new United Way Toronto report found that in and around Toronto, Canada’s largest city, 20 per cent of people are now employed in precarious, unstable or part-time jobs. This type of employment has increased by 50 per cent in the past 20 years since NAFTA was signed. In this same period, not a single notable social program has been introduced or expanded. Free trade has permanently eroded our sense of what people can do together for the common good.

Canada is also facing over $2.5-billion worth of legal suites by corporations that are permitted to sue countries under NAFTA for potential profits if blocked by health and safety or environmental laws from conducting business as usual. Current suits include a U.S. corporation challenging a moratorium on natural gas fracking in Quebec, a court decision to annul a patent by Eli Lilly, a decision against opening a new gravel quarry in Ontario because of the likely effect on water and farmland, and many others “coming down the pipeline.”

In Mexico millions of small farmers were displaced when NAFTA came into force in 1994 creating a massive push for migration to the United States. But NAFTA hit Mexico very hard again during the 2008-2009 financial crisis given Mexico’s dependency on the United States. In fact, Felipe Calderon’s presidency has been characterized by the slowest growth since 1954, a mere 1.58 per cent in average from 2007 to 2011, and, according to World Bank indicators, between 2007 and 2010, GDP per capita in Mexico decreased by 3.71 per cent, which is among the worst performance in Latin America.

The United States, which is leading the TPP charge, has also suffered under NAFTA. The AFL-CIO in February challenged the benefit the TPP offers to workers, citing that the U.S. trade deficit “has increased dramatically under NAFTA — from $75 billion in 1993, to $540 billion today (in nominal terms).” Since the implementation of NAFTA, says the AFL-CIO, “the growth in the trade deficit with Mexico has cost the United States nearly 700,000 net jobs.” The AFL-CIO is calling for a Global New Deal that promotes growth “with equity, protect their health and safety and foster sustainable development.”

Next generation of handcuffs

Next generation corporate trade deals like the TPP and the proposed “comprehensive” pacts that Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are pursuing with the European Union, purposely take away our ability to pursue alternative economic strategies. These deals are designed to ensure that governments have no power in the economy, and that they are only useful when they are using tax payer dollars to bail out large banks and other corporations.

Like NAFTA, the TPP will handcuff our ability to set regulations in key areas like finance, industry, the environment, public procurement and fostering programs to create jobs at home. Free trade offers corporate subsidies for the rich and cut-throat competition for everyone else. So it should come as no surprise that communities across the continent and the Western Hemisphere are mobilizing in what can be expected as the battle against the TPP.

On Dec. 1, hundreds of labour, community, public health and internet freedom advocates from Canada, the U.S and Mexico descended on the Peace Arch Park in Surrey, B.C., between Washington State and British Columbia. The Tri-National Unity Statement that came out of that strategic gathering has been signed by hundreds of organizations representing tens of thousands of people across the continent.

Since our Dec. 1 cross-border action, community and NGO organizations from central and Latin America are raising their collective voices in opposition to the TPP. This opposition was solidified at the People’s Summit in Santiago de Chile — parallel to summit EU-CELAC Summit — this past January where civil society gathered to express and share their concerns and develop strategies to stop it. They are calling out the TPP as a ‘tool of disintegration’ in the region because it attempts to destabilize regional processes of integration that challenge the neoliberal model inherent in the TPP.

These alternatives include the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and The Community of Caribbean and Latin American States (CELAC), as well as economic blocs like MERCOSUR and ALBA trading regions. The TPP is seen in Latin America as a second attempt by the United States to push a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in the region with help from countries whose governments are subservient to de the U.S. led neoliberal ideology and “free trade” economics.

Stopping our governments from doing any more damage with corporate rights pacts like the TPP needs to be a priority of the peoples of North America. We must demand an alternative, more equitable and sustainable global trade regime. Trade and investment deals must respect and promote fundamental environmental rights, indigenous sovereignty, labor rights, including equal rights for migrant workers and people of color.

Communities and local governments need to be able to actively create high-wage, high-benefit jobs in ways that do not undermine the well-being of our sisters and brothers globally.

Rich people, poor communities

Governments must be able to promote democratic public policies in the public interest without fear of catastrophic lawsuits in non-democratic and non-transparent investment tribunals.

Free trade creates rich people not rich communities. We have 20 years of evidence from NAFTA… we don’t want any more. Stop the TPP! Sign the tri-national statement of unity against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and to sign-up to be more involved, go to

Raul Burbano is the program director of Common Frontiers (Canada). Kristen Beifus is the executive director of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition and Manuel Pérez-Rocha is a member of the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC) and an associate fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

The following is a guest post from Kristen Beifus, Executive Director of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, working on behalf of people and the planet for a fair global trading system and lead organizer of the December 1 Day of Action. Join Global Exchange staff members Hillary Lehr and Carleen Pickard, on the border this Saturday!

Ten Reasons Why the TransPacific Partnership Matters…

  1. It is only getting bigger by the day: Thailand knocking at the TPP Door
  2. We have not learned from NAFTA: Mexico ordered to pay Cargill $95 million for attempting to keep out high-fructose corn syrup
  3. In Free Trade Agreements, corporate profits always trump the environment: Canada/Quebec sued under NAFTA for its ban on fracking by a US corporation
  4. It Doesn’t Matter if you are a sovereign nation with labor and environmental laws: Here is a list of the NAFTA chapter 11 cases
  5. Or just trying to survive with a life-threatening illness on a few dollars a day: Public health advocates in Malaysia protest reduced access to generic medicines in trade deals
  6. Congress is trying, but those who we elect are not part of negotiating this deal-our democracy is at stake! Take this recent Sign-On letter to President Obama from Senator Al Franken on the labor rights concerns in the TPP and urge Senators Cantwell and Murray to sign it!
  7. Sweatshops still exist: Here is a recent report by Right2Work
  8. Companies are willing to invest millions of dollars to keep consumers in the dark: Here are the corporations who defeated the GMO labeling initiative in California
  9. Only when we connect our issues, and combine our strength can we succeed: Dec. 1st is also world AIDS Day
  10. We are not alone, we are the majority, and our voices are needed for trade to ever benefit workers and support healthy communities and a sustainable planet: Sign the Avaaz petition to reach a million who say “Stop the Corporate Death Star”, stop the TPP!


Join Fair Trade bus against the TPP: Join trade justice advocates from Canada, Mexico, and the US from DC to Northern, California, Oregon and WA this December 1st and get on the Fair Trade Bus to the Canada/U.S. border (Peach Arch Park) & take action against the TransPacific Partnership!!

The day of action will include:

  • A rally/action with Seattle’s Labor Chorus
  • Seattle Fandango Project
  • Movitas a radical marching band
  • Speakers from First Nations tribes in Canada fighting to protect their sovereignty
  • Workers from Kimberly Clark’s Mill in Everett who had their jobs off-shored this year
  • Philippine-US Solidarity Organization sharing tales of free-trade in Asia
  • Farm justice advocates from Community to Community and international advocates from the Council of Canadians, the national AFL-CIO, Washington State Labor Council
  • Asuper fun TPP People’s Action!
  • Backbone’s Free Trade My Ass Balloon and Flush the TPP will also be flying along the border and TPP: No New NAFTAs thanks to IBEW Local 46!

Then (there’s more?!):

  • The People will jointly strategize on how to engage with social media with Global Exchange & Witness for Peace
  • Get organizations onto a Tri-National Unity Letter with Citizen’s Trade Campaign
  • Talk about the TPP in 2 minutes or less with SPEEA and develop and implement creative tactics to stop the TPP by the next round in March, 2013!

Want to get on the buses leaving from Seattle? Go to and sign-up.
Buses will be leaving at 10:30am and returning to Seattle at 6:00pm. A delicious hot Mexican meal will be provided for everyone thanks to Community to Community!

Questions? Contact Kristen (at) washingtonfairtrade (dot) org or 206.227.3079

Follow along: Follow protest happenings on Twitter with hashtag #StopTPP.

The following post was written by California Fair Trade Coalition Director, Tim Robertson. Take action today by calling your Representative and tell them NO on Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama.

This week President Obama said he understood “the frustration” moving thousands of ordinary citizens to take to the streets of dozens of American cities. But that didn’t keep him from kicking them under the table by sending three pending NAFTA-style trade deals to Congress, despite his campaign promises to oppose them.

With a vote expected tomorrow, it’s up to activists from around the country to let their Members of Congress know that these pro-corporate deals cost jobs and marginalize the workers and the poor in all involved countries, while greasing the wheels for offshoring and further deregulating our financial services industry. The pacts, originally negotiated by President Bush, are expected to cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and we only have hours left to stop them.

Call 1-800-718-1008 to be connected to your Representative to tell them NO on Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama.

When you hear the President speak of these deals, you’d think they were job a creating magic box that will restore the manufacturing sector and set us up for years of advantageous competition in Asia. Of course, when you look inside the box, you find that the U.S. International Trade Commission expects them to expand the trade deficit and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in, you guessed it, the manufacturing sector.

This shouldn’t be too big of a surprise, as we’ve learned from NAFTA that not only do these types of deals eliminate working class jobs on both sides of the border, but they outline a broad swath of extraordinary corporate rights used to subjugate workers and the planet for profit. Free Trade is just one more mechanism that the 1% use to consolidate their power. And they’re trying to expand it right under our noses. Call 1-800-718-1008 to tell your Representative to vote NO.

These FTAs are about corporations vs. people, the CEOs vs. the workers, the 1% vs. the 99%.

Under the guise of “opening up markets,” free trade agreements like these are giant corporate handouts that enable job offshoring, deregulate financial services, and empower corporations to challenge public interest laws as basic as minimum wage and environmental protections. Get this, in order to receive restitution, corporation need only prove that domestic laws “expropriated” expected profits – you can’t make this stuff up.

Call now, 1-800-718-1008.

The very nature of free trade leads to a “race to the bottom” on regulatory issues, as producers seek the cheapest environments to make goods, and in the corporate world that means the place with the worst labor laws and environmental regulation. Many countries lower such standards to attract investment and corporations are more than happy to take advantage of the cheaper environment, frequently offshoring U.S. jobs.

No where is this more apparent than in Colombia. Since 1986, over 2800 trade unionists have been murdered in Colombia, often by corporate and/or state backed paramilitary groups. To this day, Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world to try to organize a union, with 51 union organizers murdered in 2010 alone, more than in the rest of the world combined.

In Panama, opaque banking laws and low corporate tax rates have made the country a tax haven, home to 400,000 registered corporations for a population of just 4 million. Many of these firms are just US shell corporations hiding money for tax purposes. And we want to deregulate financial services exchanges with this country?

In the South Korea deal, American pharmaceutical companies negotiated higher prices for medicines purchased by the Korean single-payer health care, threatening the viability the system. Meanwhile, US car companies are allowed to sell cars in Korea that don’t even meet Korean emission standards. And some would suggest that these deals improve public health and are good for the environment?

I don’t think so. By definition, these deals are for the benefit of those with the resources to move capital (or jobs) from one country to another. As the Occupy Wall Street protests are highlighting, that’s only 1%. Join the 99% by fighting back on these trade deals today, because literally, tomorrow is too late.

Call your Representative TODAY at 1-800-718-1008.