Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Barbara Holzer, Broadcast Manager
w. (202) 588-7716
bholzer@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

Symone Sanders, Communications Officer, Global Trade Watch division
w. (202) 454-5108
ssanders@citizen.org

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

June 24, 2009

TRADE Act Provides Road Map to Rebuild American Consensus for Trade Expansion

Statement of Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Division

The Trade Reform Accountability Development and Employment (TRADE) Act delivers on the broad public expectation that Congress and the president will forge a new trade policy that creates jobs, ensures import safety and fixes past damaging agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as they have promised.

That this trade reform agenda is supported by more than 100 House members, including nine full committee chairs, 45 subcommittee chairs and the full range of Democratic caucuses and geography, is a promising sign for the prospect of our country creating a new trade agenda. This legislation, introduced today, translates into action the specific commitments for trade reform made by many members of Congress over the past two election cycles and by President Obama during his campaign.

The bill’s provisions regarding what must and must not be in American trade agreements will look very familiar to campaign junkies, as they capture the reforms promised in the 2008 Democratic platform and the campaign commitments made by President Obama and the 71 House and Senate members elected in 2006 and 2008 who replaced those who had voted for NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

By moving Congress and the public beyond the rut of repeated fights against more-of-the-same trade pacts, the TRADE Act can help avoid the divisiveness and political fallout that such fights invariably bring.

This legislation offers the White House a path around an ocean of political quicksand because it is a road map for trade expansion that Democrats could support with fixes for the key conflicts between the current NAFTA-style trade pacts and the Democrats’ core agenda. 

The premise of the TRADE Act is that America’s trade agenda must be brought into conformity with America’s domestic agenda of good jobs, a clean environment, safe food, quality and affordable medicines, and essential services. By removing provisions that limit imported food and product safety and financial service regulation, provide foreign investors with rights to attack domestic environmental and health laws, and incentivize the offshoring of jobs to low-wage countries – and adding effective labor, environmental, health and safety standards to provide the floor of decency necessary to ensuring trade agreements benefit more people – the road map provided by the TRADE Act would lead to trade agreements that could enjoy broad public support.

###

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.