The mutual enemy that brought so many family farmers, farm/food workers, fisher folk, and indigenous activists to the Battle of Seattle was industrial agribusiness and neoliberal capitalism.
NAFTA should be replaced with an agreement that encourages and ensures environmental sustainability, economic viability and longevity for the people growing and harvesting our food, as well as their communities, in all three NAFTA countries.
This week has been a jam packed week here in DC. In addition to the Appropriations process and a few conferences (more on those later), the fifth round of negotiations for the EU-US trade deal (TAFTA, the TransAtlantic Free Trade Agreement, or TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) happened on the George Mason University School of Law campus.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack appeared before the House Agriculture Committee last week to discuss the state of the rural economy and field questions on the implementation of the Farm Bill. Over the past few weeks USDA officials have appeared before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to discuss USDA’s proposed budget for FY2015. And as always, bills are being introduced on the Hill that would have real impacts on the lives of farmers. Here are some key highlights:
This week has been a busy week in DC. The TAFTA negotiators were in town and NFFC, along with other members of the Citizens Trade Campaign, greeted them on gray Monday morning.
The faith, labor, family farm, consumer, environmental, human rights and social justice organizations within Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC) wrote Obama urging him to enact meaningful trade reform as his administration enters into negotiations for a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP). To learn more about the TPP, visit www.citizenstrade.org/tpp.php.
With Copenhagen around the corner and failure of this week’s WTO negotiations, the Obama administration’s international agenda and leadership style are coming under scrutiny. The potential confirmation of controversial former pesticide lobbyist Islam Siddiqui as the U.S. trade representative for agriculture threatens to further undermine this administration’s credibility in international forums by privileging U.S. corporate interests over the global public interest and common good.