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Working People Need Answers on Latest North American Trade Deal

Richard Trumka
15 Oct, 2018
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It seems every talking head in Washington has been in a frenzy recently, rushing to either glorify or condemn the new North American Free Trade Agreement, known as the United States Mexico Canada Agreement. But the truth is that it is still too early to pass any final judgment.

It helps to understand that for a quarter of a century, NAFTA has wreaked havoc on the lives of working people across North America. More than 850,000 jobs in the United States have been shipped overseas. Mexican workers have toiled under poverty wages and repressive conditions, while large corporations have used that labor abuse as a twisted justification to slash pay and reduce benefits in the United States and Canada.

Working people are not standing for it anymore. We have demanded a trade regime that prioritizes those who work the hardest. We have marched and mobilized to build the fairer economy and more just society that we deserve. That is how we fought and defeated the Trans Pacific Partnership. That is how we brought NAFTA back to the negotiating table.

But before anyone can pat themselves on the back, working people need clear answers. We have already suffered long enough under the broken promises of NAFTA. Too many lives have been destroyed, too many jobs have been lost, too many families have been hurt, and too many communities have been devastated by corporate written and unfairly enforced trade deals. We are not interested in shaky promises or standards that rise and fall depending on who sits in the Oval Office.

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