On October 26th, we held a panel discussion explaining how free trade agreement investment rules can potentially be used to attack bans on hydrofracking.
This past Friday, our worst fears were realized - a corporation is challenging Quebec's ban on fracking using the investor rights provisions of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement:
As this disturbing precedent illustrates, if we suceed in banning fracking in New York state, NAFTA grants foreign corporations invested in NY fracking to sue our government, claiming that our ban violates their "investor rights."
In 2008, Barack Obama said "I will make sure that we renegotiate [NAFTA], in the same way that Senator Clinton talked about. And I think actually Senator Clinton's answer on this one is right. I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced. And that is not what has been happening so far. " But since being elected, he's completely reversed course. Instead of working for a more environmentally responsible NAFTA or pulling out, President Obama is instead working to EXPAND NAFTA to many more countries via negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (also known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership), which will give corporations in 11 countries the right to sue the United States in an international tribunal outside the jurisdiction of the US court system for unlimited sums if New York bans fracking.
TIME TO TAKE ACTION!
Please join OWS Environmental Solidarity, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, TradeJustice New York Metro and others on Tuesday, November 27th for an informational event and organizing meeting to plan to demand that President Obama fix or abolish NAFTA - instead of expanding it via TPP!
DATE: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
TIME: 6:30PM - 9:30PM
LOCATION: Metropolitan Community Church of New York, 446 West 36th Street between 10th and Dyer Avenues
From 6:30-8PM, a panel of anti-TPP activists will discuss what this NAFTA suit means for the fight against fracking, why TPP is an even greater threat, and will also discuss how TPP will limit access to lifesaving generic medicines, force countries to drop their bans on genetically modified foods, outsource decent jobs to exploitative sweatshops overseas, and prohibit legislation to reign in the Wall Street banksters!
From 8-9:30 PM, we'll transition to concrete planning about how we can get the word out about TPP to more people and demand that our elected officials take action to derail this terrible trade deal in the making.