By JoAnne Powers
On Monday afternoon, the AFL-CIO revealed an extensive set of formal recommendations for a major re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The recommendations include changes to labor and procurement rules, as well as improved consumer protections and new rules to prevent currency misalignment and tax dodging. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka vowed that if President Trump follows their recommendations, they’ll help him pass the new deal, but if he uses the renegotiation to further rig the rules for the wealthiest few, American workers will fight him with everything they have.
Communication Workers of America President Chris Shelton says the AFL-CIO framework will benefit working people, create jobs and raise wages throughout North America:
[Chris Shelton]: “Our trade agreements are designed mostly to protect the ability of companies to move jobs to low-wage countries where workers are totally denied basic rights and earn as little as a dollar or two per hour. If the NAFTA re-negotiation is another secretive corporate-driven process that provides huge assistance to multinational corporations, or just crumbs to working people, that will not solve any of the problems that American workers face. So, we are laying out an agenda today that does solve these problems. Let’s get rid of the ban on ‘Buy American’ policies. Let’s get rid of the undemocratic investor-state settlement process that provides special legal rights to companies that offshore jobs. Let’s enact policies that actually raise wages and collective bargaining rights in Mexico, instead of the empty promises we’ve seen in the past. Let’s strengthen NAFTA’s rules-of-origin. Let’s ban currency manipulation in an enforceable way. Let’s do this all in the light of day so that American workers can know whether our negotiators are looking out for them, or the corporations. CWA Members cannot afford another deal written by and for multinational corporations. We need a deal that is written by and for American workers.”