The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Arthur Stamoulis, 

Statement on the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity

by Arthur Stamoulis, Executive Director, Citizens Trade Campaign

In response to a proposal by President Joe Biden at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles today to create a new regional trade initiative called the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP), Arthur Stamoulis, the executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign, issued the following statement:
"Whether the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity ends up benefiting working people or just raking in more profits for big corporations will be determined by the negotiating objectives that the administration prioritizes, the countries involved and the negotiating process.
"The corporate-centered free trade agreements currently in place throughout the region have been a disaster for working families both at home and abroad. A transparent, participatory process that puts the interests of working people front-and-center could start to correct some of the problems created by earlier pacts. A positive APEP agenda would begin with renegotiating existing deals to build upon the improvements made in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, including adding strong, easily-enforced labor standards; eliminating Investor-State Dispute Settlement and expansive monopoly power for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices; and inserting binding climate measures.
"Big Tech and other corporate interest groups will undoubtedly be lining up to demand a host of new policies designed to further secure their power and profits at the expense of good-paying jobs, consumer privacy and civil rights. The American electorate, however, has no patience for the type of corporate-driven, backroom trade deals that lobbyists prefer."

The Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC) is a national coalition of environmental, labor, consumer, family farm, religious, and other civil society groups founded in 1992 to improve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). We are united in a common belief that international trade and investment are not ends unto themselves, but instead must be viewed as a means for achieving other societal goals such as economic justice, human rights, healthy communities, and a sound environment.

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