The 1980s were an era of great debate over the right’s push for a “free trade” agenda that the CCPA, among many other progressive organizations, warned would cost jobs, weaken environmental standards, and lock in neoliberal austerity.
It’s no fun saying we told you so, but today the sad signs that we were right are unmistakable—from unmitigated climate change to stagnating incomes to widening inequality in much of the world. This issue of the Monitor looks at the cracks in the neoliberal consensus with respect to trade—including in the United States—and how Canada should respond.
- As Scott Sinclair and Stuart Trew write in their cover story, U.S. President Joe Biden’s worker-focused decarbonization plan and trade policy are nowhere near as exciting as what Bernie Sanders proposed, but they still outshine anything we’ve seen from our federal and provincial governments.
- The U.S.—not Canada—was also behind innovative new labour provisions in the updated Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) that are scoring wins for Mexican workers: “Decades-old patterns of abuse and exploitation are finally being seriously challenged,” write Laura Macdonald and Angelo DiCaro.
- Some progress is being made in Canada on trade reform. Meg Gingrich describes how the United Steelworkers fought for and won a more prominent place for workers in Canadian trade remedies cases.
- Our trade section concludes with calls for a more progressive and sustainable type of globalization by Joseph Gubbels.
All that and more in this edition of the Monitor.