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Public Citizen on US-Mexico NAFTA Deal Announced

WASHINGTON - A preliminary NAFTA renegotiation deal between the United States and Mexico has just been announced.

We know progress was made between the U.S. and Mexico on some key changes we have demanded for decades.

But we also know that the enforceability of the new labor standards to which the countries agreed is still lacking, which is a serious problem that needs to be resolved.

Mainly though, we do not have enough information to determine if this initial U.S.-Mexico deal can be the basis for the real NAFTA replacement we’ve been demanding that could stop NAFTA’s serious, ongoing damage.

A lot of critical issues are still in play.

Canada has not participated in negotiations since May, so it’s unclear where it stands on the terms agreed to by Mexico and the United States.

As we’ve made clear since Day One, an acceptable deal must remove NAFTA’s job outsourcing incentives.

More American jobs continue to be outsourced to Mexico every week, and already almost one million American jobs are certified by the government as lost to NAFTA (and that’s even an undercount).

A NAFTA replacement must remove corporations’ Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) powers to attack our environmental and health laws before tribunals of three corporate lawyers and obtain unlimited sums of taxpayer awards.

And it must add strong labor and environmental standards with swift and certain enforcement to raise wages. Otherwise, U.S. corporations will keep moving jobs to Mexico to pay workers a pittance, dump toxins and import products back for sale here.

From what we have seen up to this point, it is clear that the administration has made some progress, yet there is more that must be done.

The initial deal that has been agreed to by the U.S. and Mexico is supposed to serve as a guide for when Canada rejoins the talks and negotiators try to hammer out details for a final deal in the coming days.

Any new deal must end NAFTA’s job outsourcing incentives and ISDS tribunals where corporations can attack our laws and add strong environmental and labor terms with swift and certain enforcement to raise wages.

No agreement should be signed or vote held until these standards are met.

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