USW: NAFTA Approach Must Be Comprehensive; “Skinny Deal” is Unacceptable

CONTACT: Holly Hart (202) 778-4384

(Pittsburgh) -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement regarding discussions in Washington, D.C. about possibly approving limited portions of the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while leaving important provisions for later consideration.

In addition to serving as International President for the USW, President Gerard chairs the official Labor Advisory Committee that advises the United States Trade Representative and Secretary of Labor on trade negotiations and policy.

“In Washington, business leaders are talking about approving portions of the NAFTA renegotiations, while leaving the most important provisions for possible later action. They want changes that benefit business while denying workers any relief from outsourcing and reducing our unacceptably high NAFTA trade deficit. For far too long, multinational companies have profited at the expense of workers in all three countries. Allowing corporations to harvest new benefits while continuing to ship more jobs out of the country is unacceptable.

“The special interest lobbyists have called this a ‘skinny deal’ containing limited provisions. There can be no mistake that they are trying to grab more benefits while continuing to oppose actions that would help workers. These include advancing labor rights, improving rules of origin, eliminating the investor state dispute settlement and adopting a sunset review. It is classic Washington bait and switch that is unacceptable.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222