USW Hosts Forum on NAFTA Renegotiations

Any renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must prioritize workers, their communities and the environment.

This was the message that USW President Leo W. Gerard delivered in a town hall meeting on NAFTA hosted today at the USW International headquarters in Pittsburgh.

The panel included Sen. Bob Casey and Rep. Mike Doyle as well as representatives from the BlueGreen Alliance and other community groups. It met to discuss the Trump administration’s plan to today kick off NAFTA renegotiations.

“It’s urgent that workers’ voices be heard,” said Gerard. “If the agreement is renegotiated and doesn’t meet the standard that workers have a voice, we’ll have a very aggressive campaign to stop this new NAFTA.”

Casey chided the Trump administration, saying that while there has been a lot of talk on trade, there has been little action.

“We’ve got a long way to go to say any trade negotiations have been the kind the American worker has the right to expect,” Casey said.  

Doyle said that NAFTA was crafted to benefit only multinational corporations and their CEOs, leaving workers in all three countries to fend for themselves.

“It was unacceptable then, and it’s unacceptable now,” Doyle said. “A revised NAFTA must benefit the American people and not just with cheaper commercial goods.”

Gerard stressed that now is the time that workers must make their voices heard so that the new version of the trade deal protects jobs and upholds enforceable environmental standards.

“The only thing worse than this deal is another bad deal,” Gerard said.

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