NETWORK strongly supports the TRADE Act as a way forward for trade. For too long, global trade has benefited corporations and the wealthy at the expense of the poor. The TRADE Act would reverse this trend and set new benchmarks for trade. By ensuring that our trade agreements live up to the high standards of the TRADE Act, we guarantee that our trade policies help workers, farmers, and impoverished people here and abroad.
Introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) and in the Senate by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the TRADE Act would make four major steps toward a more just trade model. It would:
1. Evaluate existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
The TRADE Act would require a public report to assess standing trade agreements’ impacts on employment and wage levels, access to healthcare and water, cost of essential medicines, and compliance with labor and environmental standards, among other criteria. We need to know how our trade arrangements are serving citizens here and in our trading partner nations.
2. Renegotiate existing FTAs.
The texts of existing trade agreements (including NAFTA, CAFTA, and others) would have to be transformed to meet certain requirements. For example, they would have to:
Allow governments to use tariffs and other mechanisms to protect small-scale farmers against imported goods selling at below-market price
Eliminate the investor-state dispute resolut