Rethinking Trade with Lori Wallach

Rethinking Trade with Lori Wallach

By Rethink Trade
The changes needed to support living-wage jobs, to combat the climate crisis, to make medicines accessible for all...
Much of it won’t be possible unless we overhaul our corporate-rigged trade system. Trade Expert Lori Wallach and Activist Ryan Harvey explore ways to make our progressive trade vision a reality. Rethink Trade is an initiative of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.
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New NAFTA’s Start Marred by Labor Activist’s Arrest
After a multi-year campaign by unions, civil society groups and congressional Democrats won critical improvements to the bad NAFTA 2.0 deal Trump signed in 2018, the new North American Free Trade Agreement goes into effect on July 1.  But it’s a bad start: a leading Mexican labor lawyer, Susana Prieto Terrazas, has spent weeks in jail on trumped up charges for helping workers use USMCA’s labor rights, and Mexico’s new USMCA-compliant labor law is bogged down by hundreds of lawsuits aimed at derailing it.  In this episode we discuss the decades-long movement against the original NAFTA, that pact’s outcomes, the recent Replace NAFTA campaign and the cross-border effort to free Susana Prieto Terrazas. Learn more at rethinktrade.org. Music: Groove Grove by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3831-groove-groveLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
16:40
June 30, 2020
ISDS Corporate Attacks Against COVID-19 Emergency Measures
Governments are taking emergency action to fight COVID-19, counter economic disaster and ensure peoples’ basic needs are met. Now corporate law firms are targeting those actions for outrageous Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) attacks.  ISDS law firms are actively recruiting multinational corporations to sue governments before a panel of three corporate lawyers to obtain unlimited taxpayer compensation for government actions related to the COVID emergency. These ISDS tribunals can even order compensation for multinationals’ loss of expected future profits and there is no outside appeal.  In this episode, Lori explains the immediate ISDS danger and breaks down the regime’s history of attacking environmental protections, consumer safety regulations and democracy itself. Learn more at rethinktrade.org. Music: Groove Grove by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3831-groove-groveLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
19:18
June 22, 2020
The Hong Kong Protests VS. China's Democracy Crackdown
Hong Kong is at a significant crossroads—and its special trade status with the US has become a central point of leverage in determining the outcome of this crisis.  One year ago, millions took to Hong Kong’s streets in response to the Chinese government’s attempts to limit free speech, protest and unions rights. The protests would become one of the largest sustained protest movements in recent history, and would succeed in derailing repressive legislation that Chinese leadership was pushing through the Hong Kong legislature. But last month, China moved to skirt that legislature and impose from Beijing a national security law that threatens the freedoms of the Chinese government’s critics. It would allow HK residents to be arrested for criticizing the Beijing government and jailed in mainland China.  In this episode, Lori and Ryan discuss the protest movement and the central role US trade policies are playing in influencing the future of Hong Kong. Learn more at rethinktrade.org. Music: Groove Grove by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3831-groove-groveLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
16:52
June 16, 2020
Crisis at the World Trade Organization
Today, the World Trade Organization is in a major crisis of its own making, with its over-reaching enforcement regime derailed, its Director-General abruptly announcing his resignation and legislation introduced in both chambers to terminate Congress’ approval of the organization.  When the WTO was launched in 1995, we were promised by an array of corporations and politicians that it would usher in a new era of win-win globalization that would deliver higher wages and good jobs. Instead, as activists and union members warned, the WTO has facilitated a race to the bottom in wages and mass job outsourcing, especially after China joined in 2001. The WTO has ruled again scores of U.S. policies, including environmental and consumer protections.  What happens next at WTO affects us all. In this episode Lori digs in the history of the organization and describes the significance of its current crisis. Learn more at rethinktrade.org. Music: Groove Grove by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3831-groove-groveLicense: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
19:46
May 27, 2020
The Loophole That Lets Amazon Deliver Uninspected Imports to Your Door
Nearly 2 million imported products we buy online every day enter the United States and are delivered to consumers’ doors without any inspections. That’s thanks to a trade law loophole that also lets these imports dodge the fees that brick-and-mortar stores pay for the same products.  Amazon and other E-commerce giants pushed for this change to what is called de minimis import policy, and it has facilitated a new flood of fake and unsafe imports that threaten consumers while undermining local businesses. Learn more at rethinktrade.org. Music: Groove Grove by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3831-groove-grove License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
18:18
May 18, 2020
As U.S. Pressures Mexico to Re-open NAFTA Factories, Workers Protest
COVID-19 deaths are still on the rise across Mexico. Despite government orders to close all non-essential firms, some U.S. factories have continued operating–with little consequence. Now the U.S. ambassador and hundreds of multinationals are demanding the country prioritize corporate interests over the safety of Mexican workers – by reopening factories now.  With the new NAFTA going into effect on July 1, how will the COVID crisis impact the deal’s new worker-protection requirements and Mexico’s related labor reforms? Learn more at rethinktrade.org. Music: Groove Grove by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3831-groove-grove License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
14:48
May 12, 2020
A Progressive Shock Doctrine on Globalization?
To try to address human needs during the COVID-19 crisis, many governments have shredded the concepts and laws underpinning corporate-managed hyper-globalization. A quick return to business-as-usual is not likely.  In this episode, we discuss Lori’s recent piece in Le Monde Diplomatique, where she identifies four main ways in which the current moment provides unique opportunities to win significant structural changes to make the global and domestic economy fairer, more resilient and more sustainable.  What comes next depends largely on how we mobilize today. With many people who had been sheltered from the ravages of hyperglobalization now personally affected and fuming about the United States not being able to make or get essential goods needed to save lives, it’s time for a progressive “Shock Doctrine.” Learn more at rethinktrade.org. Music: Groove Grove by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3831-groove-grove License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
29:16
May 6, 2020
The Looming COVID-19 Medicine Shortage
The COVID-19 crisis revealed how reliant the United States has become on imported masks, respirators and other essential medical goods. The latest news is about medicine shortages.  Decades of bad trade and tax policies have incentivized pharmaceutical corporations to outsource the production of many categories of drugs – and also production of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) that are drugs’ key ingredients. Most APIs come from just two countries, China and India. As workers there have fallen ill and plants have been closed for social distancing, production has dropped. In many categories, there is no domestic production to make up the difference. Learn more at rethinktrade.org. Music: Groove Grove by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3831-groove-grove License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
16:19
April 28, 2020
Governments, Not Corporations, Should Regulate Trade in COVID-Crisis Goods
Today, instead of corporations unilaterally deciding where and when to sell every product, governments worldwide are doing what many expected of them all along - prioritizing residents’ needs and securing medical goods. In this episode Lori explains why such reasonable conduct is actually forbidden by trade agreements and what changes are needed to create a more resilient, equitable global economy. Learn more at rethinktrade.org. Music: Groove Grove by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3831-groove-grove License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
13:33
April 20, 2020
Crisis Capitalism COVID Response: Let’s Do More Rigged Trade Deals, No One’s Watching…
With everyone rightfully focused on fighting COVID-19, corporate lobbyists are hard at work pushing for more of the same failed trade policies that helped create the unreliable supply chains now failing us all. We dive into a couple of their latest attempts, including proposed free trade deals with Kenya and the UK and efforts to use stealthy World Trade Organization talks to limit regulation of monopolistic online platforms and climate-killing energy firms.
13:31
April 13, 2020
COVID-19: Bad Trade Rules Have Weakened Our Response
Trade expert Lori Wallach breaks down how corporate-led globalization has fueled shortages in our medical supply-chains and limited our ability to fight against coronavirus.  Learn more at rethinktrade.org. Music: Groove Grove by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3831-groove-grove License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
17:43
April 3, 2020