WHEREAS the third round of renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has concluded, and it is still unclear whether U.S. negotiators are going to demand the removal of the controversial NAFTA provision known as Investor State Dispute Settlement;
WHEREAS at the heart of these agreements is a process known as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS);
WHEREAS ISDS formally prioritizes corporate rights over the rights of sovereign governments to regulate for the public interest, worker safety, and protections against climate change;
WHEREAS using ISDS corporations only need to convince a panel of three corporate lawyers that a law designed to protect public health, job safety, or the environment violates their special NAFTA rights
WHEREAS those corporate-friendly tribunals have the power to levy fines in the millions and billions of dollars against our governments for loss of the corporations’ hypothetical future profits which we, the taxpayers, will ultimately pay;
WHEREAS the threat of fines levied has a chilling impact on the willingness of governments to regulate for the public interest, worker safety and climate change;
WHEREAS workers and communities can’t sue for unfair job practices which have been adversely impacted by these companies;
WHEREAS ISDS makes it easier for big corporations to move jobs to locations where workers are the most exploited and environmental regulations are the weakest;
WHEREAS ISDS puts democratically enacted public interest laws such as fracking moratoriums, laws regulating oil and gas pipelines, and ‘buy local’ programs in jeopardy both at home and abroad;
WHEREAS ISDS will drive down labor and environmental standards at a time when we need those standards to fight climate change and to encourage sustainable communities;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC) to call upon our federal elected officials - Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray and our Congressional Representatives - to oppose a renegotiated NAFTA (or any future trade deal) if it includes ISDS provisions; and
THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the WSDCC ask our Members of Congress to vote to remove NAFTA 2.0 from the Fast Track Process, if the Trump Administration submits an implementing bill prior to getting changes based on rules that are fair and transparent, and seek to enhance prosperity, stability, freedom and the quality of life.
Submitted by the 23rd Legislative District Democratic Central Committee for consideration at the 27-28 September 2019 WSDCC Meeting in Yakima.
Approved by the 23rd Legislative District Democratic Central Committee on July 25, 2019.
Approved at the 28 September 2019 WSDCC Meeting in Yakima.