4 North American Coalitions meet in Mex. City re. SPP – NAFTA
February 5, 2008
Representatives of the 4 North American Coalitions, members of the Hemispheric Social Alliance that works on alternatives to ‘free trade’ in the Americas, gathered in Mexico City from January 23-27th, 2008. The Coalition representatives addressed the dangers of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) on January 25 in a packed Main Events tent during the Mexico-World Social Forum held during that week. Also on this SPP panel to provide an alternative vision of how people-centred trade could work, was a colleague from Bolivia.
Earlier on the 25th the 4 N.A. coalitions held a successful News Conference to launch their joint Statement NAFTA must be renegotiated. 5 major Mexico dailies picked up on the Statement and reported that NAFTA was not only hurting the Mexican campesinos and workers, but was also decimating decent jobs in all three countries. The Coalition reps. also participated in an hour-long radio discussion on NAFTA and SPP broadcast to several cities in central Mexico and overseas via internet.
The 4 Coalitions took the opportunity to meet and discuss joint strategies for 2008. A significant portion of the time focused on the March 5-7 meetings in Washington. The focus there will be on NAFTA Agriculture, Migration, and on the SPP. March 7 will feature meetings between progressive legislators and civil society organizations to consolidate plans to push back FTAs in North America.
There was also a meeting of the ‘follow-up group’ to the August 2007 Montreal Energy Sector meeting to discuss progress in joint work to date. The meeting emphasized the importance of broadening participation in this energy work in the face of the SPP inspired assault to privatize PEMEX, as well as the overall drive to ‘secure’ the provision of oil and gas for the US while disregarding the negative impacts on the environment and sustainable levels of development both in Canada and Mexico – the SPP junior ‘partners’.