Draft GPUS Platform Amendment Trade

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Section Title: Trade

Subsection title: Fair trade, not corporate-managed trade

Our position: Greens support trade agreements that improve labor, environmental, consumer, health and safety standards.

“Free trade” is market capitalism for the profit of the investor. “Free trade” is not fair trade.

During the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the United States has pursued trade agreements that increase the profits of the world's largest multinational corporations at the expense of the environment, domestic sovereignty, consumers, workers, family farmers, safety and human rights. Such trade agreements as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) must be abolished, re-negotiated or replaced.

Greens want to create a new era of trade agreements designed to benefit workers, consumers, local economies and the environment, not corporate profits.


1. Replace the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank with new institutions that are democratic, transparent and accountable people of all nations.

2. Until the IMF and World Bank are replaced, implement crucial reforms, including: restructuring their rules to cancel the debts of recipient nations; prohibiting the use of IMF/WB loans to impose structural adjustment programs that place debt service and export-led development ahead of, and at the expense of, social needs; and, installing strict standards for grants and loans to prevent fraud, misuse, subversion of funds by recipient, dictatorial, governments.

3. Re-negotiate international trade treaties and agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and others to respect, protect and improve (harmonize up) labor, health, safety, consumer, environmental, human rights and animal welfare standards, while supporting local economies and businesses, and sustainable agriculture.

4. Replace the anti-democratic "fast track" approval process of trade agreements with a transparent process that requires far more substantive congressional involvement and oversight.

5. Restore and protect the rights of citizens to public ownership and use of their nation's resources against corporate extraction, exploitation and control, through provisions in trade agreements.

6. Oppose all trade agreements that contain special protections for pharmaceutical companies to limit affordable access of generic medicines; service sector privatization and deregulation requirements; bans on Buy American and anti-sweat shop or environmental procurement policies; new rights and privileges for foreign investors to promote offshoring and expose domestic health and environmental laws to attacks in foreign tribunals; or infringe on the sovereignty of federal, state or local governments.

7. Require U.S. corporations that operate in other countries to guarantee workers the same rights that American workers enjoy, including the labor standards established by the International Labor Organization's Declaration of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

8. Restrict imports of foreign goods to the U.S. that come from nations that lack protections equivalent to U.S. standards for labor, health, safety, and the environment. Require labeling of genetically modified imports.

9. Allow states to set higher standards than the federal government and to refuse sub-standard imports from non-compliant foreign states.


We urge our government to do the following:

a. Re-formulate all international trade relations and commerce as currently upheld by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB), and the nascent Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) to protect the labor, human rights, economy, environment and domestic industry of partner and recipient nations so that the growth of local industry and agriculture has the advantage over foreign corporate domination.

b. Re-structure the rules of performance of the IMF/WB to end the debts of recipient nations, and to install strict standards in the IMF/WB that control the use of grants or loans to prevent fraud, misuse, and subversion of funds by recipient governments.

c. Re-write the rules for investment of corporate capital in projects operated under the IMF/WB to guarantee the rights of the citizens of the nations receiving the investment and their right to public ownership and control of their own resources.

d. Mandate and protect labor’s right to organize, create unions and negotiate with management in all countries receiving U.S. investment, and require U.S. corporations that operate in other countries to guarantee those workers the same rights that American workers enjoy.

e. Legislate and enable oversight by an independent agency or a labor union to verify that foreign workers’ rights are protected.

f. At home, secure the rights of our states to establish stricter standards for health, safety, and for the environment than those of our national government, and to protect themselves against substandard, imported goods.

g. Secure the right of states and municipalities to refuse to invest in foreign businesses that do not abide by their standards for imported goods, fair trade, and environmental protection.

h. Prohibit U.S. corporations from avoiding or evading payment of their taxes by banking abroad or locating their charters offshore.

i. Every day over $1 trillion dollars circles the globe in currency trade – wreaking havoc on low-economy nations – without obligation to sustainable investment. We seek to restrict the unfettered flow of capital and currency trade, and levy the Tobin tax of .05% on cross border currency transactions. [See section E. 2. Fair Taxation on page 62 in chapter IV]

j. We support the funding and expansion of non-government organizations (NGOs) in their missions to educate and train people of less developed nations in initiating local business and economic development, and in providing health care and family planning.

k. Under the agency of the United Nations, we demand that our government renew and initiate government funding and support for family planning, contraception, and abortion in all countries that request it.

l. We reject the U.S. government’s economic blockade of Cuba. We ask the U.S. Congress to lift the embargo and restore normal diplomatic relations and respect for national sovereignty, and demand that the U.S. government end its veto of U.N. resolutions pertaining to Cuba.