Backed by a wide array of unions, led by the Steelworkers, the Teamsters and the AFL-CIO, a group of House Democrats formally challenged Republican President Donald Trump to completely rewrite NAFTA, the controversial 23-year-old U.S.-Canada-Mexico “free trade” pact, in favor of workers, not multinational corporations.
In a non-binding resolution introduced Feb. 16, the legislators, led by Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., laid out the pro-worker principles any new NAFTA should uphold. By and large, they repeat the pro-worker principles the same group – plus AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka – unveiled for a new NAFTA on Jan. 3.
Those include abolition of the secret trade court, called the Investor State Dispute System, now in NAFTA and other trade pacts, and writing strong enforceable labor rights into a new NAFTA’s text, and enforcing them.
They also include keeping Buy America provisions free from company challenges, putting in strong rules of origin for imported cars and parts, and requiring foreign trucks to comply with U.S. truck safety and driver licensing laws.
That last requirement would restrict creaky Mexican trucks and ill-trained, tired drivers to within 20 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, a key cause of the Teamsters. NAFTA lets Mexican trucks roll nationwide.More ...