What Will a NAFTA Renegotiation Look Like?

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Your boy Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Commerce Secretary, recently sat down with the Wall Street Journal — and an audience full of people who would show up to such an advertised interview — to discuss the broad contours of the Trump administration’s trade policy.

He touched on trade with China. He touched on Buy America policies. And he went in on the administration’s plans for a renegotiation of NAFTA. Ross specifically talked about how NAFTA’s rules has affected manufacturing:

“Some of its manufacturing provisions are totally obsolete. In automotive, they put in a procedure which in concept is a good one, called rules of origin. Namely, what percentage of the content of a finished product can come from outside NAFTA and yet get the favorable tariff treatment as though it were all 100% from within NAFTA?”

Ross made the same point about rules of origin in an interview with Bloomberg (his segment begins at about the 18 minute mark).

Interestingly enough: The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) submitted to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative its suggestions on how to order a NAFTA renegotiating strategy – and it prioritizes an update of those same “rules of origin” statutes. How about that!

You can read the whole letter here. AAM thinks NAFTA’s labor and environmental standards should be strengthened; concessions on government procurement market access should be entirely reciprocal; and that tough rules on state-owned enterprises and currency manipulation should be enshrined so this agreement can serve as a model for future trade agreements.

As for specifics on rules of origin, AAM wrote:

"While we believe the NAFTA rule of origin on automobiles should be phased in over time to a higher level so that workers in signatory countries can enjoy more of the benefits, we must also update the regional value content rules regarding traced materials to maximize these benefits."

For example:

"Under current NAFTA rules, steel is not a traced material, although many traced materials are steel-intensive. Updating these rules to ensure the use of North American steel in steel-intensive traced materials could stimulate manufacturing in all NAFTA countries, while minimizing the advantages to non-participating nations."

Ross told Bloomberg that in mid-July “we’ll be reviewing to the Congress a more detailed negotiating strategy than we had discussed with them before.” We hope to see some of AAM’s suggestions are taken to heart and included in the Trump administration’s outline.

***

Reposted from AAM.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work