To end the global race to the bottom, we need a progressive internationalist trade agenda that lays the foundation for global solidarity by highlighting the shared interests of all workers.
Multinational corporations and the nationalist politicians who serve them pit workers from different countries against each other. But protectionist responses only stoke the flames of nationalist policies that isolate workers and fuel the race to the bottom.
To lay the foundation for solidarity across borders, e call on progressive politicians to uphold our Progressive Trade Platform in international trade and investment negotiations, including those surrounding the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This platform includes a commitment to:
- Labor standards and fair taxation that end the global race to the bottom in wages and working conditions.
- Safe and stable jobs that reinvigorate the global economy by stimulating demand to create a virtuous cycle of economic growth and job security across borders.
- Environmental regulations that secure a safe and stable future.
- Strong and democratic international regulations that enable workers and activists to hold multinational corporations accountable in every country.
A Left Vision for Trade
progressive trade Deals and policies are necessary to curtail global corporate power
Historian Erik Loomis explains why we need progressive trade policies to save our national economies from the neoliberal consensus imposed by multinational corporations:
"Ultimately, we must spend the next four years advancing a positive agenda for global labor that both rejects the neoliberalism that has dominated national debate for the past four decades and empowers workers around the world to fight for their rights....Now is the time to take advantage of the new bipartisan consensus that rejects neoliberal trade. Doing so requires an aggressive agenda to reduce the suffering of workers under a system of global capitalism increasingly unhinged from national frameworks of accountability. The working-class voters who cast a ballot for Trump did so in part because they recognized that neoliberalism did not work for them. The American left must respond, not by capitulating to their worst fears—embracing racism and blaming workers in Mexico and China—but by challenging the corporate agenda that created the conditions for Trumpism to take hold in the first place."
How Global Wage standards achieve what country-specific Universal Basic Income cannot
Economist Thomas Piketty on the shortcomings of universal basic income proposals and why only global wage standards can address the root causes of economic suffering:
"The problem with the discussion about basic income is that in most instances it leaves the real issues unexplored and in reality expresses a concept of social justice on the cheap. The question of justice is not simply a matter of 530 Euros or 800 Euros a month. If we wish to live in a fair and just society we have to formulate more ambitious objectives which cover the distribution of income and wealth in its entirety and, consequently, the distribution of access to power and opportunities. Our ambition must be that of a society based on a fair return to labour, in other words, a fair wage and not simply a basic income. To move in the direction of a fair wage, we have to re-think a whole set of institutions and policies which interact with each other: these include public services, and in particular, education, labour law and organisations and the tax system."