WHEREAS, the Teamsters represent over 200,000 workers engaged in manufacturing and tens of thousands of other workers involved in warehousing and distribution of manufactured goods that flow into global supply chains, often transported by Teamster members on the rails or the docks, in warehouses and freight distribution centers, and our members have a great stake in trade policy reform that grows the economy and keeps those jobs in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, trade agreements based on the framework of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have resulted in nearly 2 million lost jobs; and

WHEREAS, since the enactment of NAFTA, the U.S. trade deficit has increased to over $700 billion; and

WHEREAS, trade agreements based on the framework of NAFTA have resulted  in downward harmonization of international human rights standards and global environmental standards; and

WHEREAS, the pending trade agreements with the 11 other countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the European Union in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will continue this trend; and

WHEREAS, investment chapters in the TPP and TTIP will give foreign investors rights to challenge U.S. laws, regulations, and even court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent the U.S. judicial system; and

WHEREAS, the TPP is a “docking agreement” which other countries in  the Pacific Rim area, including China, can join; and

WHEREAS, the TPP fails to include effective or enforceable disciplines on currency manipulation, such that any benefits that might otherwise accrue to our industries from lowered tariffs will be erased when TPP partners, present or future, adjust their currencies against the dollar; and

WHEREAS, continued enforcement against trading partners who violate international trade law (environmental and human rights) is necessary to level the playing field; and

WHEREAS, future trade policies must focus on job creation in the U.S. based on  a new framework for negotiating trade agreements.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED at this 29th International Convention that it is a moral and economic imperative that this country drastically reform its trade policies to ensure that working families’ wages and benefits are not further eroded, that jobs are not continually sent off-shore, that the right to organize and to bargain collectively be in any agreement, and that workers are free from exploitation; and

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will continue to fight and to lobby against any trade agreement that does not increase jobs in the U.S. and protect workers’ rights.