(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement by Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on the White House’s release of its “Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA Renegotiation” last night.
“I am disappointed that the latest version of the administration’s goals for a NAFTA replacement is not more specific. The very general outline that the USTR posted on its website suggests that the Trump trade reform team is still undecided about what new trade policy model will replace the old NAFTA and its expansion in other bad deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“While I agree with the President that NAFTA has been a disaster for American manufacturing and workers, I don’t see anything in these USTR guidelines for renegotiation that point towards the dramatic overhaul that NAFTA needs. For example, while we agree with the administration that a modernized NAFTA must include new chapters that protect labor rights and prohibit currency manipulation, we are concerned, based on these new negotiating objectives, that the USTR won’t take strong and specific language to the table when the talks start a month from now.
“This outline raises more questions than it answers about U.S. priorities going into NAFTA renegotiation. The priorities for the Teamsters, our U.S. and Canadian members alike, include removing the worst provisions, like the outdated and controversial ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ regime in the investment chapter, the government procurement provisions that undermine Buy American, and the cross-border trucking provisions that threaten highway safety. I will work with the USTR in support of this ‘fair trade’ agenda and a new NAFTA that is superior to the TPP and finally works for American manufacturers and workers.”
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.