UE Officers: Proposed Replacement for NAFTA Falls Short of Meeting Demands of Working People

August 29, 2018

On Monday, the US administration announced an outline of a possible trade deal with Mexico. The projected framework offers few details about improving workers’ living and working conditions and the enforcement of labor and environmental standards. Furthermore, it completely excludes Canada which means it is no longer a North American agreement.

This proposed replacement for NAFTA falls short of meeting the demands of working people across our continent. The administration highlights new rules protecting financial investments and intellectual property. Meanwhile their statements on labor indicate that the agreement will continue to allow the US to maintain or enact laws like “right to work” which weaken workers rights to organize and collectively bargain. These are the concerns of the corporations who have a seat at the negotiating table. This is unacceptable.

UE continues to demand a comprehensive trade and industrial policy that improves our communities and the rights of workers, our unions, and our environment, “that raises living standards for workers across industries and across borders through investment in infrastructure, jobs and social programs.”

We demand greater transparency from these negotiations. Too many politicians have expressed interest in this deal without seeing any details in writing. Just as with contract negotiations with an employer, we must see clear language in order to understand the impacts of any new trade agreement and to formulate an appropriate response.

Peter Knowlton
General President

Andrew Dinkelaker

Gene Elk
Director of Organization