We Can Win Better Trade

From the AFL-CIO

Key labor issues are getting worse, not better, because Mexico is moving backward on its labor laws, while the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement continues. And so American negotiators should not jump to sign an agreement on principles anytime soon, as some in the administration of President Donald Trump have indicated.

It’s time to hold Mexico’s feet to the fire to win meaningful labor reforms, so the new trade agreement can lift up working families and our communities throughout North America.

For 25 years, the North American Free Trade Agreement has tilted the economic playing field sharply in favor of powerful corporations by lowering pay, degrading our environment and killing jobs.

The murders of three striking miners in Mexico at the Media Luna mine, which is owned by a Canadian mining company called Torex Gold Resources Inc., put the labor issue into stark human terms: Workers and family members mourned and protested, while the police did nothing.

Before the company formerly known as Delphi Automotive, now renamed as Aptiv, moved from Warren, Ohio, it paid workers $30 an hour. After it moved to Juarez, Mexico, where workers are glad for the jobs yet have no hopes of better pay or a brighter future, the pay declined to $1 an hour.  

International trade agreements can be written to protect good jobs and the environment and to lift up our lives and communities, but that’s not where this process is headed if negotiators prepare now to sign an agreement in principle.

America’s working families are united in pursuit of better trade deals. Negotiators shouldn’t rush forward just to get a deal. We’ve waited too long. It’s time to get NAFTA right. We can win better trade.

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Posted In: From AFL-CIO, Union Matters

Union Matters

Stay out of the TPP

From the AFL-CIO

Working people want to move forward on trade, not backward. President Donald Trump’s reported interest in reviving the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the wrong idea. He should focus on upgrading the protections for worker freedoms in the ongoing negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Three years ago, a united movement of working people rose in opposition to Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, upsetting the conventional wisdom and changing the course of American trade policy.

Our opposition had nothing to do with political parties. It was a grassroots groundswell, and it came after years in which trade experts from the AFL-CIO and our member unions offered feedback, detailed testimony and policy language to the trade negotiators, who simply allowed corporations to have too much control over the proposed deal.

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