chapter  13
12 Pages

Global Crises: The Need to Go Beyond Transnational Solidarity in the Struggle Against the Expansion of Free Trade Agreements

WithBruno Ciccaglione & Alexandra Strickner

Starting from the struggles against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the

early 1990s,2 followed by the birth of the WTO in 1995,3 resistance against ‘free trade’ policies

has been an important element of a wider resistance against the neoliberal policies of corporate

globalisation. Trade unions of different countries and regions joined this resistance with diverse

approaches and a variety of strategies: a number of trade unions, especially in the Global South

ABSTRACT The purpose of the article is to analyse the most interesting strategies and tools

used by trade unions to build transnational solidarity and to move beyond a ‘free trade’

approach. This set of tools can be useful for those trade unions that have until recently

experienced the negative impact of free trade agreements. But the authors suggest that a

deeper strategic change is needed towards building a different economic model. After the

explosion of the financial and economic crisis, far from being considered part of the

neoliberal policies responsible of the crisis, ‘free trade’—and the export-led model that it

promotes-have been widely proposed as the key elements to re-boost growth and move out

of the crisis. This vision has to be challenged and questioned in order to serve the interests of

workers and the environment.