Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today said he supports the trade reform bill soon to be reintroduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill would rewrite the rules of global trade.
The Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, H.R. 3012, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, plans to file it this week in the Senate.
“The United States has suffered long enough from bad trade deals that drive down wages, harm the environment and lower safety standards,” Hoffa said. “The TRADE Act would make sure that the benefits of trade go to workers, not just multinational corporations and Wall Street traders.”
The TRADE Act lays out the foundation of how a trade agreement should be negotiated and what it can and cannot include. Importantly, it will prevent future trade deals from banning Buy American policies, and it will prohibit privatization and deregulation requirements.
“We have an economic and a moral imperative to create a new trade policy,” Hoffa said.
Hoffa was one of the earliest and strongest critics of NAFTA-style trade agreements that have cost Americans millions of jobs.
The TRADE Act would set a new course for a better trade olicy. It would:
- Prevent another country from forcing unsafe practices or products on American citizens;
- Make sure international labor standards are enforced;
- Take away incentives for corporations to leave the U.S.;
- Prevent foreign corporations from challenging our laws in secret international tribunals;
- Make sure our government can promote good jobs and economic opportunity.
“The Teamsters Union is against trade that destroys jobs and lowers safety standards,” Hoffa said. “We are for trade that creates jobs and improves working conditions.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.