Bill Moyers on How NAFTA Undermines Democracy

By Jim Carey

On Monday, October 13, at 1pm in the Quinta Loreto Hotel TV room, Loreto 15, Centro, Occupy San Miguel will show Bill Moyers’ movie Trading Democracy.

Film at Occupy San Miguel
Bill Moyers’ Trading Democracy
Mon, Oct 13, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel
Loreto 15
TV Room
No Charge

After NAFTA more and more people are aware that free trade is anything but “free.” It’s rigged with benefits for the corporations and a threat to the sovereignty of nations as well as the environment—the land, water, farming, air pollution ,and food safety; labor rights and wages; healthcare; the freedom of the internet; and banking and financial regulations. According to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, more than 85% of all the free trade disputes were challenges by the fossil fuel industry against natural resources, energy and environmental policies. Recently after the Province of Quebec banned fracking, the US -incorporated oil and gas company Lone Pine Resources sued Canada for US$230 million under NAFTA.

Bill Moyers, one of the world’s most respected journalists, reveals in Trading Democracy how NAFTA’S Chapter Eleven clause can cost US taxpayers millions of dollars when multinational corporations sue the government over environmental and health laws that threaten their profits.Speaking with legislators, public policy experts, community leaders, and citizens about the lawsuits filed under NAFTA’s Chapter Eleven, Moyers unravels the hidden repercussions of a treaty that was supposed to promote democracy through free trade, but now appears to have given deep-pocketed corporations the means to undermine democracy across international borders.

The program explores the case of Methanex, a Canadian company that is the world’s largest producer of the key ingredient in the gasoline additive MTBE, which was found to be a carcinogen. California ordered that the additive be phased out. Methanex filed suit under NAFTA’s Chapter Eleven, seeking US$970 million in compensation for loss of market share and future profits. Moyers also takes his investigation to the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí, where an American company called Metalclad tried to bulldoze over the protests of both state and local governments to reopen a toxic waste dump that many citizens feared was making them sick. When Metalclad was stopped by the local town council, the company invoked Chapter Eleven and was awarded US$16 million in compensation. The film is free and it will be followed by a discussion.


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