Senator Warren Releases Report Highlighting Decades of Broken Promises and Failures to Enforce Labor Standards in Trade Agreements
WASHINGTON, DC – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today released a report highlighting more than two decades of failed enforcement by the United States of labor and environmental standards included in past free trade agreements (FTAs), including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and agreements with Peru, Colombia, and Panama. The report follows recent statements by President Obama that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be “the most progressive trade bill in history” and that it will have “higher labor standards, higher environmental standards,” and “new tools to hold countries accountable.” Similar statements were made by previous Presidents of both parties about every major U.S. trade agreement, from NAFTA forward.
“Supporters of past trade agreements have said again and again that these deals would include strong protections for workers, but assurances without strong enforcement are just empty promises,” Senator Warren said. "The facts show that, despite all the promises, these trade deals were just another tool to tilt the playing field in further of multinational corporations and against working families.”
Today’s 15-page report, Broken Promises: Decades of Failure to Enforce Labor Standards in Free Trade Agreements, shows that the United States pursues very few enforcement actions to uphold the labor protections in its trade agreements. Analysis of a series of reports by government auditors and other experts - combined with case-by-case analyses of labor, environment, and human rights problems in countries that are partners in free trade agreements with the United States - reveals that despite promises made by Presidents from both parties, free trade agreements have often failed to resolve or prevent abuses in countries that are parties to the agreements.
Click here to read a copy of the report.