Fighting for Fair Trade

“Historically, these agreements have closed American manufacturing facilities and cost American jobs,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “It is foolish to think that this latest round will do something different. Success should be measured by the jobs that are created, not the number of agreements that are enacted.”

USW: Trade Deficit Numbers Show Failings of U.S. Trade Policies
“Today’s trade deficit numbers are a referendum on our nation’s trade policies, and it is obvious that our policies are failing America by outsourcing production and increasing income inequality. Not surprisingly, China again tops the list of those countries whose predatory and protectionist policies fuel our trade deficit. It is high time for our country to acknowledge that its trade practices do not work for the vast majority of Americans" ... more

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

USW Supports Ranking Member Levin’s Call for Greater Scrutiny of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today following Rep. Sander Levin’s presentation of a report to the Council on Foreign Relations: “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations: The Need for Congress to Get Fully in the Game.”

“Congressman Levin’s report provides a concise, concrete and coherent approach to the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks. He has identified how much work still remains for an agreement to actually meet the President’s standard of a 21st century trade agreement.  

“The agreement is not going to be measured by when it is completed, but what it actually does to improve our manufacturing base and provide good-paying jobs. A 21st century trade agreement must live up to the challenges we face in today’s world, not be bound by an ideology of outdated provisions from the past ... more

GOP fast-track sending jobs oversea through TPP - Republicans leaders have made it clear that they support fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership, sending U.S. jobs overseas.

“Workers want a new trade policy that will create jobs, promote rising wages and reduce our trade deficit, but our TPP negotiators are headed in the wrong direction.

USW Criticizes TPP Trade Deal Negotiations
Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), today issued the following statement on the lack of transparency and other outcomes being negotiated in the current proposed trade deal with 11 Asian nations known as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Gerard participated in a media call with Members of Congress and a labor-environmental trade coalition earlier today.

“An effective agreement cannot just merely reduce tariffs – it must open markets to our exports, prohibit state-owned enterprises from engaging in non-commercial transactions, eliminate currency manipulation –and most important, ensure that workers actually benefit from their hard work rather than seeing their jobs offshored and outsourced ... more

Fast Track

USW Opposes Camp-Baucus Fast Track Proposal
Calls for New Approach to Trade Policies that Don’t Fuel Income Disparity
United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement in response to today’s introduction of legislation by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp to grant President Obama expedited and preferential trade negotiating authority historically known as “fast track” ... more

White House Wrong on Fast Track
Massive Trade Deals Cost Jobs, Depress Wages
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said that President Obama will lobby lawmakers to give him authority to “fast track” two massive proposed trade deals through Congress: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (USTR 2014b) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) (USTR 2014a). McDonough claimed that the TPP could support $130 billion in “additional exports a year,” and that “each billion dollars in additional trade means 4,000 to 5,000 additional jobs in this country” (CBS News 2014). These economic claims are false ... more

North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA)

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was promoted as a job creator when it was negotiated in 1992 and signed into law in 1994. But according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), nearly 900,000 U.S. jobs were lost to NAFTA in the period between 1993 and 2002 alone.

NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster
NAFTA’s birth was bi-partisan—conceived by Ronald Reagan, negotiated by George Bush I, and pushed through the US Congress by Bill Clinton in alliance with Congressional Republicans and corporate lobbyists.

Clinton and his collaborators promised that the deal would bring “good-paying American jobs,” a rising trade surplus with Mexico, and a dramatic reduction in illegal immigration. Instead, NAFTA directly cost the United States. a net loss of 700,000 jobs. The surplus with Mexico turned into a chronic deficit. And the economic dislocation in Mexico increased the the flow of undocumented workers into the United States.

Nevertheless, Clinton and his Republican successor, George Bush II, then used the NAFTA template to design the World Trade Organization, more than a dozen bilateral trade treaties, and the deal that opened the American market to China—which alone has cost the United States another net 2.7 million jobs. The result has been 20 years of relentless outsourcing of jobs and technology ... more