FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Mexico City, Montreal, Ottawa, Washington
June 18, 2009

CIVIL SOCIETY NETWORKS FROM NORTH AMERICA APPLAUD LETTER TO PRESIDENTS FROM LEGISLATORS’ TASK FORCE ON RENEGOTIATING NAFTA

 

The four civil society networks from North America promoting fair trade over ‘free trade’ – the Alliance for Responsible Trade (United States), Common Frontiers (Canada), the Mexican Network of Free Trade and the Quebec Network on Continental Integration - welcome the initiative taken by Legislators who are part of the Task Force on Renegotiating NAFTA, to send a letter to Prime Minister Harper and Presidents Obama and Caldéron. In this letter the Legislators state “Fifteen years since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into effect, it has become obvious that many of the promised benefits of the agreement have not come to be”. The civil society networks support the call by the Task Force on Renegotiating NAFTA for a “new, people-centered fair trade model”.

The four North American networks have been collaborating for several years in advancing proposals for the renegotiation, or outright abrogation, of the failed NAFTA. A recent example of these joint efforts can be found in the document “NAFTA Must be Renegotiated; A Proposal from North American Civil Society Networks”.

We intend to continue collaborating with the Legislators who make up the Task Force on Renegotiating NAFTA because it is very important to engage the Congresses in Mexico and the United States and the Parliament in Canada in a thorough evaluation of the impacts of NAFTA 15 years after it was implemented. We also intend to continue working on alternative trade models designed, as the Legislators state in their letter, to “safeguard sovereignty in the three countries” and to “bring widespread prosperity and development to our continent”.

The letter sent to Harper, Obama, and Calderon by the Task Force on Renegotiating NAFTA is an excellent step in building a different North America, where “free” trade is not placed above peoples’ social, economic, cultural, and environmental rights.

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For further information please contact:

Rick Arnold, Common Frontiers: Tel. (905)-352-2430; comfront@web.ca

Normand Pepin, RQIC: Tel. (514) 292-9973; pepinn@csd.qc.ca

Marco Antonio Velásquez, RMALC : Tel. 011 (52) (55) 5356-0599; rmalc@laneta.apc.org

Tom Loudon, ART-USA: Tel. (301) 699-0042; toml@quixote.org

 

The letter from the Legislators can be found at www.commonfrontiers.ca

 

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