“Make No Mistake, We Demanded A Trade Deal That Benefits Workers, Fought Every Single Day To Negotiate That Deal” - National AFL-CIO Endorses New North American Trade Agreement After Successfully Negotiating Improvements
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka announced Tuesday (December 10th) that the Labor Confederation will support Republican President Donald Trump’s new North American Trade Deal, paving the way for likely passage in the Democratic-controlled House.
Trumka said in a statement that the National AFL-CIO endorses Trump’s proposed revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) after Democrats successfully negotiated for tougher Labor Standards.
“Make ‘no mistake, we demanded a Trade Deal that benefits Workers and fought every single day to negotiate that deal,’” Trumka said, “and ‘now we have secured an agreement that Working People can proudly support.’”
His endorsement came moments before Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (Democrat-Massachusetts) announced a deal to pass the Trade Pact, dubbed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Democrats have worked closely with the National AFL-CIO and other Labor Groups to secure stricter Labor Oversight Provisions in talks with the White House.
The National AFL-CIO’s rare endorsement of a Trade Deal clears the way for progressive Democrats to support the USMCA without fear of blowback from Unions.
On Monday, Trumka told The Washington Post he was reviewing a Tentative USMCA Agreement with his Executive Committee, expressing optimism about Labor-related changes.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was expected to sign an updated version of the pact in Mexico City with Mexican and Canadian Officials.
"President Trump may have opened this deal, but Working People closed it. And for that, we should be very proud," Trumka said in Tuesday's statement, continuing:
Working People are responsible for a deal that is a vast improvement over both the original NAFTA and the flawed proposal brought forward in 2017.
For the first time, there truly will be enforceable Labor Standards - including a process that allows for the inspections of factories and facilities that are not living up to their obligations.
The USMCA also eliminates special carve outs for corporations like the giveaway to Big Pharma in the administration’s initial proposal and loopholes designed to make it harder to prosecute Labor Violations.
The USMCA is far from perfect.
It alone is not a solution for outsourcing, inequality or climate change.
Successfully tackling these issues requires a full-court press of economic policies that empower Workers, including the repeal of tax cuts which reward companies for shipping our jobs overseas.
But there is no denying that the trade rules in America will now be fairer because of our hard work and perseverance.
Working People have created a new standard for future trade negotiations.
For More On This Labor News Story, Go To: https://thehill.com/policy/finance/473837-afl-cio-backs-trumps-north-american-trade-pact-clears-path-for-democratic
And To Read National AFL-CIO President Trumka’s USMCA Statement, In Full, Go To: https://aflcio.org/pressreleases/afl-cio-endorses-usmca-after-successfully-negotiating-improvements