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Showing blog posts tagged with trade

What the Heck Is ISDS and Why Is It a Brazen Corporate Giveaway?

Since the late July negotiating round that failed to reach a final deal for the corporate-leaning Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a lot has been written about the merits of a purported ISDS carve-out and whether it played a role in the failed effort to complete a deal by July 31. (Don’t know much about the TPP? Learn more.)

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Another Reason TPP Won’t Work: Currency Manipulation

Last week, China, the world’s second largest economy, devalued its currency by about 4% against the dollarVietnam—a party to the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations—followed suit. This devaluation makes it tougher to sell U.S. goods on the world market—by making “Made in America” goods relatively more expensive and Vietnamese and Chinese goods relatively cheaper. 

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Getting Trade Right Requires More Than Glittering Generalities

Graph via the Economic Policy Institute

Remember back in school, when you did a unit on “persuasive techniques” (your teacher may have called it “propaganda” or “advertising”) and your teacher taught you about the different methods that advertisers use to try to persuade you to buy their products?

There was the testimonial, as in “Hey, I tried it and it works!”

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With Malaysia Upgrade, Administration Puts TPP Agenda Ahead of Trafficking Victims and Workers' Rights

A migrant worker in Malaysia. Photo Credit: Malaysia Trades Union Congress.

Today, the Obama administration made the disastrous decision to upgrade Malaysia—a major player in the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement—on its annual Trafficking in Persons report. This clearly political decision undermines the credibility of important anti-trafficking efforts and underscores the fact that the Obama administration is willing to pursue its anti-worker trade agenda at all costs. It is also yet another sign that the TPP will only continue a global race to the bottom in wages and working conditions. 

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Fast Track Was Just the Beginning...

All I can say is: wow. I’ve been working on stopping Fast Track for years now and I can tell you that—even though Congress pulled some last-minute political maneuvering to get Fast Track passed last month—we beat all the odds and changed the game. And we did it together.

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The U.S. Must Address Mexico’s Labor Abuses in the TPP

workers at railcar factory in northern Mexico protesting against a protection union that negotiates against their interests

The United States government has taken a bold and positive step by publicly calling out Mexico’s dismal record of labor rights violations in international forums.

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The President’s Trade Deal Struggles Because It’s Bad Policy

The President’s Trade Deal Struggles Because It’s Bad Policy

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a 12-country, NAFTA-style trade deal with two serious problems. It doesn’t work and it’s bad for democracy.

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Fast Track: Where Are We Now? Take II

Fast Track: Where Are We Now? Take II

The Rise of the Zombie Fast Track Bill.

Fast Track passed the House, but it is now being sent back to the Senate. The fight isn’t over.

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'Ethnic Cleansing' in the Western Hemisphere: The Impending Deportation Crisis in the Dominican Republic

The deadline has now passed for hundreds of thousands of workers and families in the Dominican Republic to register with the government and they now face the threat of becoming stateless and being deported. There is a long legacy of discrimination against Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. However, since a September 2013 Supreme Court ruling that revoked the citizenship of those born in the country since 1929 who could not prove their parents’ migration status, they have been facing increasing levels of violence and discrimination and reports indicate that law enforcement authorities have been “cleansing” neighborhoods of so-called undesirable elements—mainly by detaining Dominicans with Haitian features. Now, these workers and families could be deported to the Haitian border, though many may not have any ties to Haiti, speak little or no Creole, and lack eligibility for Haitian citizenship.

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Questions About the Fast Track Vote?

Questions About the Fast Track Vote?

Many Americans have questions about last week’s House vote against the undemocratic, unaccountable Fast Track bill. The bottom line is that Fast Track is stalled, for now. To advance to the president’s desk, both parts of the bill had to advance. But the first part of the bill, a vote on the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, was defeated by a resounding vote, 302–126. This vote effectively killed the bill, but only temporarily. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) preserved the right to have a revote on that portion of the bill. And even if a revote fails, the House leadership can repackage the bill in a number of ways. In other words, this is not over. Global corporations and their allies in Congress will continue to try every trick in the book to ensure a clear path for bad trade deals that lower our wages, endanger our air and water, and increase corporate influence over our economy. 

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