Press Contact: Galen Munroe Phone: (202) 624-6911 Email: [email protected]
WASHINGTON/LAVAL, QC) – Teamsters in both the United States and Canada are coming out in support of the new NAFTA following changes to the agreement made by Democrats in Congress.
The Teamsters Union has long opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement. Teamsters jobs are tied to trade and our members have suffered the impact of the original NAFTA for more than a quarter century. Teamsters want trade, but it has to be fair trade that puts working people and their families first.
The USMCA agreement wasn’t worthy of ratification a year ago. Since then, the Teamsters Union, House Democrats, our labor brothers and sisters and many other fair trade allies worked to secure improvements to the agreement as signed by the party countries. Now, for the first time, workers’ interests are protected by enforceable labor standards. The revised final USMCA is better than the initially signed USMCA agreement and a significant improvement over the original NAFTA.
“The International Brotherhood of Teamsters will support this free trade agreement,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “The renegotiation of NAFTA and the subsequent improvements made by Democratic leadership have resulted in a final package that is superior to the original.”
“New improvements to labour rights and a more enforceable labour chapter have made a real difference,” Teamsters Canada President François Laporte said. “Nobody got everything they wanted, but our union has decided not to make the perfect the enemy of the good.”
The USMCA includes improvements which will directly benefit Teamster members. Among these is the overdue fix to the cross-border trucking provision that threatened highway safety and the competitiveness of the American trucking industry.
We recognize and thank USTR Lighthizer, House Ways and Means Chairman Richie Neal (D-Mass.) and their staffs for their sincere commitment to this issue.
s North America’s dairy workers’ union, we know that neither the American nor the Canadian dairy industries got everything they wanted in the NAFTA renegotiation. Now it’s up to the Canadian government to compensate not just dairy farmers, but dairy processing workers for losses stemming from recent trade agreements.
The USMCA represents good progress for working people. Trade rules in America will be fairer and that is something for which we can be proud, but trade policy alone cannot fully address economic injustice. To that end, the Teamsters Union has no greater policy priority for the 116th Congress than protecting our members’ pensions and addressing the multiemployer pension funding crisis. Signing the Butch Lewis Act into law must be the next priority for this Congress and the Administration. We urge our elected leadership to come together in a bipartisan manner now and work to achieve a pension protection policy solution with the same level of commitment and urgency applied to the USMCA negotiation process.
Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers across Canada. Teamsters Canada is affiliated to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Visit teamsters.ca for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TeamstersCanada and “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/TeamstersCanada.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.5 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/teamsters.