(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa in response to the White House’s issuance of a final NAFTA notification letter today that will lead to a renegotiation of the North American trade agreement in the coming months.
“From the beginning more than a quarter century ago, the Teamsters have been front-and-center in sticking up for workers and their rights under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). And that won’t change with the issuance of the administration’s final NAFTA notification letter today.
“The Teamsters are America’s leading transportation union and know what is at stake when it comes to crafting a new NAFTA. Our members have stood in historic opposition to this broken trade pact in part due to terrible provisions such as cross-border long-haul trucking language that jeopardizes highway safety and threatens the environment in this country. Measures like that need to be stripped from the pact – full stop.
“That being said, the Teamsters are optimistic new U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will fulfill the promises of this administration to dramatically reform NAFTA to focus on jobs that will help hardworking Americans. It is time to rein in the off-shoring of U.S. livelihoods that only benefit big business.
“As a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, I look forward to working with USTR Lighthizer and his staff to make changes that will help American workers. While the NAFTA notice lacks many specifics, this union will head into discussions with clear objectives that will put the needs of the people above those of the powerful.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.