Consumer Groups, Unions Demand No Vote Until USMCA Is Fixed by Eliminating Pharma Giveaways, Strengthening Labor and Environmental Standards and Enforcement
WASHINGTON, D.C. –The corporate “Fat Cat” joined friends at an event organized by a corporate front group, Farmers for Free Trade, launched by two lobbyists Brian Kuehl of K·Coe Isom, LLP and former Walmart Vice President Angela Marshall Hofmann of World Strategies, LLC. World Strategies is registered in Bentonville, Ark., and key Farmers for Free Trade staff also are Walmart alumnae. Farmers for Free Trade’s Board President is Sara Lilygren, a longtime Tyson Foods lobbyist. [See Fat Cat Rally Photos Here]
Fat Cat joined the corporate call to quickly pass the revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal that Donald Trump signed last year, a call that is premised on avoiding changes to the pact congressional Democrats and the administration are discussing to eliminate monopoly powers that allow pharmaceutical firms to charge consumers more and strengthen terms that counter job outsourcing. Three major corporate lobbying groups – Farmers for Free Trade, USMCA Coalition and Pass USMCA Coalition – have poured millions into campaigns aimed at thwarting these changes, which are necessary for it to win passage in the House of Representatives.
The effort to ram the deal through Congress as-is is not surprising: The two other corporate coalitions pushing the USMCA are packed with chronic job-outsourcers and Big Pharma firms that pushed NAFTA in the 1990s and every other trade deal that Trump says he hates.
An analysis of government data show that member firms of these corporate lobby fronts – USMCA Coalition and Pass USMCA Coalition – already have been certified by the U.S. government as responsible for at least half a million trade-related American job losses since they pushed the original NAFTA through Congress.
Meanwhile, labor unions and consumer groups note that the revised NAFTA will lock in high medicine prices and won’t stop job outsourcing. They are demanding improvements before the pact goes to Congress.