International trade is a vital part of the U.S. economy. But, too often, powerful corporate interests have negotiated trade deals in secret; stacking the deck in their favor to increase profits for the biggest and most unscrupulous corporations at the expense of working people.
Working people need trade policies that support good jobs at home and boost sustainable development abroad. Trade agreements should be well-balanced, stimulate the creation of good jobs, protect the rights and interests of working people, and promote a healthy environment. Trade agreements must be enforced fairly, quickly and consistently. As America’s working people have learned the hard way, trade agreements without complementary policies such as infrastructure investment, export promotion strategies and active labor market policies will not produce shared prosperity, but only help concentrate wealth in the hands of the 1%.
The number of U.S. jobs outsourced to Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Giving foreign corporations special rights to challenge laws outside of the legal system is a bad deal to everyone except those corporations.”
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on ISDS
More than 95% of the nearly $9 billion awarded in ISDS court decisions—a private justice system for foreign investors—went to the world’s largest corporations and richest individuals. Working people are not allowed to use this system for trade complaints—the U.S. government has to bring a complaint on our behalf—and the only time it happened, the U.S. lost.
The amount full-time U.S. workers lose annually because of bad trade deals like NAFTA.