Warren and NAFTA 2.0

Got a mailer this morning from the Sanders campaign. I imagine most of you got it too.

I just want to highlight one paragraph. Bernie voted "No" and said:

While not everyone running in the Democratic primary cast the same vote as I did, I was proud to be joined by my colleagues Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand. I strongly believe that we are on the right side of this issue.

While not everyone running in the Democratic primary cast the same vote as I did
Harris, Booker, Gillibrand also voted no. No mention of Warren, implying that she voted "Yes"

So you see Warren's true Progressive credentials, to the Right of Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

WOW! Just WOW!

The whole mailer is vintage Bernie. Don't know if copyright law lets me quote it in its entirety.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Don't know if copyright law lets me quote it in its entirety.

Bernie won't mind.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

@Not Henry Kissinger @Not Henry Kissinger

Last week, the United States Senate voted on and passed a trade deal — the USMCA, or better known as NAFTA 2.0 — that will not stop outsourcing and is a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry.

I voted no.

And I voted no because what we need is a trade policy in this country that stands up for workers, farmers, and addresses the global threat of climate change.

While not everyone running in the Democratic primary cast the same vote as I did, I was proud to be joined by my colleagues Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand. I strongly believe that we are on the right side of this issue.

That bill, NAFTA 2.0, is 250 pages long.

It has 37,500 words.

And it does not have a single damn mention of climate change.

Not one.

And I believe that when you have an existential threat to the future of America and to the future of our planet, it is wrong to approve a treaty that will make it easier for large oil companies to destroy our planet and only exacerbate the crisis of climate change.

Our job when thinking about trade is that we always have to keep in mind that if we do not get our act together in terms of climate change, we will be leaving an increasingly uninhabitable planet to our children and to our grandchildren.

Our job is to ensure that any trade agreement we pass must include major provisions on how we’re going to stop the fossil fuel industry from destroying this planet.

Frankly, the future of our planet is more important than the short-term profits of Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

I also voted no because we need a trade policy in this country that creates decent-paying jobs in America and ends the race to the bottom. Corporate America cannot continue to throw American workers out on the street while they outsource our jobs and enjoy record-breaking profits.

Because if you think for a second most major corporations won’t send a bunch of jobs overseas if it makes them a nickel, then you are sorely mistaken.

The reality is that over the last forty years, so-called free trade policies have been unrelentingly bad for American workers. Written by large multinational corporations, these rigged agreements have made it far easier for companies to shut down manufacturing planets in the U.S., throw workers out on the street, and move to Mexico, China and other countries where workers are paid a fraction of what they are in the U.S.

How could the proponents of these so-called free trade agreements have been so wrong in the past? Maybe, just maybe, they are either purposefully misleading us, or perhaps some of them are misled by corporate America.

But the truth is, I believe that the American people want a president who has the GUTS to stand up to these large and powerful corporations.

That is what we are going to do when we are in the White House.

Thank you for reading.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

Re "Maybe, just maybe, they are either purposefully misleading us"
No "Maybe" about it in my book.

Yeah, I did send a donation. You don't need the link do you?

22 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

So I can ask confidently, did Bernie Sanders call Two Faces Warren a liar in national mail?

On a serious note, this is an excellent message from Sanders. He is at his best when he keeps pointing out that he doesn't vote for Trump bills. Aren't they supposed to be dragging Trump by pelt after Omnishambles Clinton ordered a complete standstill? My mind immediately went to "where the hell is the McResistance on this? Are they even still McResisting? ... Bueller? More like the Assistance!

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status as citizens of the affected nations. AFAIK, this began with Clinton's GATT/WTO & NAFTA setup. What clued me in to their importance was the part of NAFTA's chapter 11 stipulating that any corporation whose bottom line is negatively affected by laws (e.g. environmental & labor laws) of the democratically elected governments included in NAFTA has the right to sue said nation under a court consisting of a panel of judges selected by NAFTA.

Somehow I sensed that this was less about trade than about reversing the primacy of democratically elected governments over transnational corporations and that this was less "business" than "coup." So when Trump came out with his 2017/2018 version of NAFTA 2, I looked first for that and was reassured that the chapter 11 provisions had been removed. (Hey, god bless you for that, Trump). Further, his early version of NAFTA took into consideration such factors as jobs, workers' rights, and unions. (Amazingly, the MSM never talked about these things and my "liberal" friends could not bring themselves to process the facts).

So here are points from a couple of links that made the material intelligible for me:


  • Raise the minimum North American content in autos from 62.5 to 85 per cent.
  • Have 50 percent of autos which qualify for NAFTA free movement be manufactured in the US.
  • Remove Chapter 11, which allows companies to sue NAFTA governments. (This has been horribly abused to stop environmental regulations)
  • A five-year sunset clause.


  • The new agreement calls for 40 to 45 percent of automobile content to be made by workers who earn at least $16 an hour by 2023. This provision specifically targets Mexico and is meant to bring wages there up to US and Canadian standards.

    That’s good for Mexican workers, but that’s not the only motivation behind it. The Trump administration hopes that if Mexico no longer pays its workers a lot less than the US and Canada do, companies will no longer have a reason to move their factories there (and out of the US), thus keeping manufacturing jobs in the US and Canada.

  • In addition, Mexico has agreed to pass laws giving workers the right to real union representation, to extend labor protections to migrants workers (who are often from Central America), and to protect women from discrimination.

I totally agree with Bernie that language explicitly protecting the natural environments of affected nations must be included, and I thank him for paying close attention to this agreement. But what I'd like to see is an easily digested summary of the proposed agreement created by someone I can trust so that we all can examine it. This stuff matters; this is a major way by which they screw us and we need to know what's in it.

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Lurking in the wings is Hillary, like some terrifying bat hanging by her feet in a cavern below the DNC. A bat with theropod instincts. -- Fred Reed https://tinyurl.com/vgvuhcl

wendy davis's picture


lori wallach and public citizen's Trade Watch have been the go-to place for years for me. great spin on the first title, and even likely true:

December 16, 2019, ‘Final Revised NAFTA Better Than Original 1994 NAFTA Thanks to Democrats Forcing Renegotiation of Trump’s 2018 USMCA Deal’,
It’s Not a Template But Rather Establishes the New Floor for Future Trade Agreements, public citizen

“One clear and important win for consumers, workers and the environment is the gutting of NAFTA’s Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regime. Corporations have extracted almost $400 million from North American taxpayers after ISDS attacks on environmental and health policies before tribunals of three corporate lawyers. The 2018 NAFTA revision largely eliminated extreme ISDS privileges for foreign investors, which will foreclose many future attacks on domestic public interest policies. This shift in U.S. policy also sends a signal worldwide to the many countries also eager to exit the illegitimate ISDS regime.
The new NAFTA shows that to be politically viable, trade pacts can no longer include extreme corporate investor privileges or new monopoly protections for Big Pharma that have been featured in past U.S. trade deals, and that they must have enforceable labor and environmental standards. This is a significant shift after decades of U.S. trade pacts that expanded corporate rights and Big Pharma monopoly protections.”

Lori Wallach on NPR: ‘What are the differences between NAFTA and the USMCA?
Jan 16, 2020 (video w/ transcript), pbs.org

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@wendy davis

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We are so screwed.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Maybe Bernie was wrong to vote "No"?

The "NO" vote was still right, for the reasons Bernie specified.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

The worker protections are better but something had to be done about greenhouse gas and pollution.

Some years ago GM built an automated factory where they make all V-8 engines just across the border. There are only 20 employees so wages are insignificant. But cutting oils and such are dumped out of a pipe in the back. That's where the savings are - no environmental cleanup.

I'll not fault Bernie for refusing to vote "Yes" with zero environmental protection.

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We are so screwed.

wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

an hour responding an hour or so ago, but as i was about to press Save, the ether ate my homework.

i was trying to add nuance to the conversation, posit a few Qs, partially by way of Trade Watch, and add a few bits and bob from this piece at Roll Call (vote 89-10), highlight a few passages concerning 'jobs to mexico', where i'm agnostic as i'm not an internationalist, etc. but i have the time for this before i get back to chores:

In committee reviews, floor comments and statements, several senators cited the absence of environmental provisions addressing climate change as one reason for voting against the implementing bill.

Environmental concern

It seemed unlikely the administration would have pursued climate change, not only because of Trump’s skepticism of the science behind it, but also because a trade-negotiating objective Congress approved in 2015 says trade agreements are not to establish obligations for the U.S. regarding greenhouse gas emissions. The language is part of a customs enforcement law that added several negotiating guidelines to the Trade Promotion Authority statute, which sets the ground rules for trade deals sent to Congress for approval.

wishing all of us a god MLK day; that prophet almost made me believe in god.

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wendy davis's picture

however did i forget to add this from RT.com yesterday? 'Cusack, Bernie’s prophet of doom: Only 10-12 years to stop climate change & ‘predatory capitalism’, 19 Jan, 2020

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

john cusack had gone over to the dark side in 2018 when as a member of the freedom of the press foundation, he had voted to boot wikiLeaks out, so now more anonymous contributions. but then, so had daniel ellsburg, fwiw.

and fuck trevor timm as well, who'd 'mentioned' it to julian assange at pastebin after the fact.

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Shahryar's picture

@humphrey @humphrey

why are you unwilling to compromise?

(category: questions we'll never hear asked)

EDIT: actually she does compromise. I should have written "why are you unwilling to stand up for principles other than corporatocracy?"

12 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Frankly, the future of our planet is more important than the short-term profits of Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

Nancy and Liz have once again shown their true colors to the working class. I'm surprised though that Harris voted against it. I wonder what her reasoning was? I doubt it had anything to do with workers since she was the one who wrote that bill on allowing more people to come here on hb visas. Are any democrats talking about the massive loss of jobs since corporations have been laying off tens of thousands of people? You know after they got their big tax cuts.

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

will make her look like a kinder and gentler fascist.

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I don't want Trump to win, but I do want the establishment Dems to lose due to their cheating and undemocratic practices in the primary. And I will do whatever I can to help that happen.