Well, my other senator, Ed Markey, responded to my email regarding provisions in the proposed NAFTA replacement that would prevent the U.S. from unilaterally protecting citizens against rapacious Big Tech and . . . unlike Senator Warren’s response, this one actually touches on my concern:
Thank you for contacting me about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). I appreciate hearing from you on this matter.
NAFTA took effect on January 1, 1994 and established a free trade area as part of a comprehensive economic and free trade agreement among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Since that time, serious concerns have been raised about the agreement’s effect on U.S. economy, workers, and the environment. Last year, the Trump administration sent notification to Congress of its intent to begin talks to renegotiate NAFTA, and negotiations between the three countries began in August 2017.
I believe that the United States should only work towards international trade agreements that safeguard workers’ rights and protect our environment in order to promote a healthy global economy. That means trade deals should not outsource jobs or justice, but rather increase wages and protect workers’ rights. In addition, trade deals should safeguard our environment and should not circumvent U.S. courts. The United States should not agree to trade deals that contain provisions allowing foreign corporations to litigate decisions made by our government, and do it outside of our own courts.
On October 1, 2018, the Trump administration announced that President Trump, President Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada had come to an agreement on an update to the trade deal. The new trade deal, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, is not binding until it is ratified by each country’s legislature.
While there appear to be some improvements in the agreement relating to environmental and labor provisions, these provisions must be enforceable to have any real effect. The new agreement is complex and requires careful review, so while there are many steps to take before Congress votes on any agreement, I will take every opportunity to improve it between now and when that happens. I will continue working toward trade solutions that support our economy, our workers, and our environment in NAFTA and any trade agreement that the United States considers.
Note that my concern wasn’t just about foreign companies. Although, just two days ago, Markey was one of three senators to to send a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressing privacy concerns about the company’s recently revealed Project Atlas. The letter contained a list of questions, with answers due March 1. They also sent letters to Google and Apple.
So Markey seems keyed in on this issue. He’s also at least pays lip service to American workers, and is not a fan of outsourcing US jobs.
On the other hand, he’s all-in in Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal.”
Look, all I want is citizens and not the super-rich deciding elections. I know, I know, I’m dreaming . . .
Know who else was dreaming, or thought she was? Elpida Kallistos, the protagonist in my debut novel, A Traitor to Dreams. If you’re into high technology coupled with Greek mythology, old-school RPGs, and a healthy dose of philosophy with your sword fights, this book is for you!