Concerned citizens desire democratic, transparent NAFTA negotiations | Letter

Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is underway. Concerned citizens desire democratic, transparent negotiations. Imperative for U.S. negotiators is the removal of controversial NAFTA provisions that gave multi-national corporations immense powers to to attack environmental and consumer safety laws, which corporations deem detrimental to their business model and to offshore American jobs.

Perhaps the most egregious chapter of NAFTA is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). Under this provision of NAFTA, multi-national corporations have the right to sue for the loss of anticipated future profits before a tribunal of three corporate lawyers. This tribunal can order American taxpayers to pay corporations when their lawyers “prove” to the tribunal that existing laws protecting public health or the environment violate special trade agreement rights and thereby impede the corporation’s ability to make profits. The tribunal’s decisions are not subject to appeal. Corporations thus benefit from a special system of “justice” outside our courts.

These 1994 NAFTA trade provisions, coupled with 1995 World Trade Organization agreements, precipitated the loss of more than 79,000 Washington jobs, according to the

Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Americans nationwide have experienced the loss of nearly five million manufacturing jobs. This “free trade” agreement has driven down wages and created record trade deficits. The Center for Economic and Policy Research found that a majority of Americans have experienced wage suppression of 12.2 percent. In 2016, the trade deficit for American goods rose to $173 billion.

A new trade agreement must include enforceable labor and environmental standards which protect us all from corporate greed. Replacing NAFTA is essential to creating a global economy which benefits working families instead of corporate elites.

For more information refer to www.tradewatch.org.

Linda Bock

Sammamish

More in Letters to the Editor

A closer look at Emerald Heights expansion | Letter

In his Feb. 8 letter to the editor, a 13-year-old kid writes… Continue reading

Inslee and climate change | Letter

Gov. Jay Inslee appears ready to announce his 2020 presidential run. Considering… Continue reading

Wrong and scary | Letter

I thought that we were living in a civilized society? Where all… Continue reading

Fraudster-in-Chief | Letter

In October 2016, a neighbor explained to me he was supporting then-presidential-candidate… Continue reading

Thank you Rep. DelBene | Letter

The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act has just… Continue reading

Protecting your packages | Letter

Your article (“Let’s talk about race,” Redmond Reporter, Dec. 14) missed an… Continue reading

Protecting your packages | Letter

Regarding the article on package porch pirates (Redmond Reporter, Nov. 23), there… Continue reading

A frightening reality | Letter

One can only conclude that President Donald Trump’s reality is his and… Continue reading

Big Oil’s ‘Kool-Aid’ | Letter

Voters drank Big Oil’s “Kool-Aid” on Nov. 6 and rejected Initiative 1631.… Continue reading

The next generation | Letter

Did you know that 50 percent of all lifetime causes of mental… Continue reading

Looming taxes continue to burden property owners | Letter

Looming taxes continue to burden property owners In the City Council’s committee… Continue reading

Nudity in state parks should be legal | Letter

I haven’t been a nudist my whole life, but, over the past… Continue reading