NAFTA: . . .women's rights

NAFTA: . . .women's rights

Postby Oscar » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:47 am

Trudeau's promotion of NAFTA & Trump hurts women's rights

[ https://canadians.org/blog/trudeaus-pro ... ens-rights ]

August 10, 2017 - 7:32 am

This past February, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proposed the idea of a binational roundtable for businesswomen -- the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders -- that involved US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka. The Trudeau government's intention was to apparently build a relationship with the Trump administration particularly given its threat to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford came up with the plan and pitched it to Jared Kushner (Trump's senior adviser and Ivanka's husband) who backed the idea.

At that time, The Globe and Mail reported, "During the presidential campaign, Ms. Trump gave a speech at the Republican National Convention introducing her father where she cast Mr. Trump as a champion of equal pay for women. Ms. Trump's poise and devotion to her father have turned her into a key surrogate with the ability to soften Mr. Trump's often rough edges. Ms. Trump also helped shore up her father's standing with some female voters, particularly after the release [in October 2016] of a 2005 video in which he boasted in lewd terms about groping women."

Not long after the launch of the roundtable, The Guardian reported, "The reality of working in a factory making clothes for Ivanka Trump’s label has been laid bare, with employees speaking of being paid so little they cannot live with their children, anti-union intimidation and women being offered a bonus if they don’t take time off while menstruating."

The newspaper notes that Trump's sweatshop in China has "a host of violations at the plant including salaries below China’s legal minimum wage, managers verbally abusing workers and 'violations of women’s rights'," while similar complaints were heard about her factory in Subang, Indonesia.

This isn't dissimilar to the conditions of more than 1 million Mexican workers - mostly women - employed in low-wage "maquiladora" factories along Mexico’s northern border. Maquiladora employment in Mexico grew 86 percent in the first five years after NAFTA was implemented. Just two years after NAFTA came into force, Human Rights Watch reported, "Major U.S.-based and other corporations routinely subject prospective female employees to mandatory urine testing, invasive questions about their contraceptive use, menses schedule or sexual habits in order to screen out pregnant women and deny them jobs."

Back in February, Globe and Mail columnist Leah McLaren wrote, "These are the things we do for trade deals [but] was it really necessary for our feminist Prime Minister to make such an utter mockery of women's rights (which are under real threat in the United States at the moment) while he was on a social visit to casually secure broader points of the North American free-trade agreement?" And Press Progress has noted the NAFTA strategy behind the women's business group and how it helped Trump given he "has been accused of sexually assaulting over a dozen women."

Trudeau should denounce the violations of women's rights at the low-wage factories owned by Ivanka Trump and both recognize and address the injustices against women that have taken place under NAFTA.

Further reading:

Trudeau's neo-liberal trade, water & energy policies negate his self-described feminism (May 2017)

[ https://canadians.org/blog/trudeaus-neo ... d-feminism ]

Self-described feminist prime minister champions non-feminist CETA (April 2017)
[ https://canadians.org/blog/self-describ ... inist-ceta ]


Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
Oscar
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Re: NAFTA: . . .women's rights

Postby Oscar » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:25 am

Will Canadian CEOs send a message to Trump by leaving this business advisory council?

[ https://canadians.org/blog/will-canadia ... ry-council ]

August 17, 2017 - 8:41 am

(PHOTO: Linamar Corp. CEO Linda Hasenfratz)


U.S. President Donald Trump has ended two of his business advisory groups - the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum - after numerous CEOs resigned from them in protest, but questions remain about the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.

Bloomberg reports, "Only a day after President Donald Trump labeled as 'grandstanders' the growing number of CEOs quitting his business council to protest his response to a white-supremacist rally that turned violent, the president abolished the advisory groups rather than put pressure on executives to stay."

The CEO of Merck & Co. (a transnational pharmaceutical corporation) was first to resign. Then the CEO of BlackRock Inc. (a global investment corporation) resigned. The Bloomberg article notes, "In a memo sent to BlackRock employees and provided to Bloomberg Wednesday, [CEO Larry] Fink said that the violence, racism and antisemitism in Virginia had to be criticized without caveats."

The CEOs of Under Armour Inc. (a clothing and footwear company), Intel Corp. (a transnational technology corporation), 3M (a transnational conglomerate) and Campbell Soup (the canned soup company) also quit Trump's councils before he ended them. The CEOs of WalMart and Johnson & Johnson decided to remain with the now disbanded councils.

But what about Trump's council for women entrepreneurs?

On February 13, Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders to provide advice and recommendations to them.

The Trump administration has promoted the council on the White House website [ https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2017/02 ... repreneurs ], encouraging people to sign an online petition to "Stand with President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau to support empowering female leaders." Trump even highlighted the council in his first State of the Union address to Congress in late February.

At that time, the Canadian Press reported, "The council will be made up of 10 female executives — half from Canadian companies and the other half from American companies. The Canadian members include CEOs Annette Verschuren, of NRStor Inc., Dawn Farrell of TransAlta Corp., Linda Hasenfratz of Linamar Corp. and Tina Lee of T&T Supermarket Inc., as well as Monique Leroux, chair of the board of directors from Investissement Quebec, are also around the table."

Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford came up with the idea of the council (as a way to build a relationship with the Trump administration in advance of the NAFTA renegotiation) and pitched it to Jared Kushner (Trump's senior adviser and Ivanka Trump's husband) who reportedly immediately backed the idea.

Not long after the launch of the roundtable, The Guardian reported on how Ivanka Trump's factories violate women's rights: "The reality of working in a factory making clothes for Ivanka Trump’s label has been laid bare, with employees speaking of being paid so little they cannot live with their children, anti-union intimidation and women being offered a bonus if they don’t take time off while menstruating."

Will Hasenfratz and Verschuren (who are also members of Trudeau's NAFTA renegotiation advisory council) and the other Canadian CEOs stand with the CEOs of Merck & Co., BlackRock Inc., Under Armour Inc., Intel Corp., 3M and Campbell Soup and quit this council to send a very clear message to Trump that violence, racism and anti-semitism must be criticized and denounced without caveats?


Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7365
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm


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