Press Release | Trade

Trump Administration’s NAFTA Plan Tinkers Around the Edges

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement in response to draft changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement from the Trump administration:

“President Trump said that NAFTA was the ‘worst trade deal’ and committed to rewriting the rules so that they work for workers and not the super-wealthy. The draft circulated by his administration does none of that. Even The Wall Street Journal says it’s ‘modest’ and that it ‘softens’ President Trump’s position. We agree. This draft leaves standing the worst and most oppressive parts of NAFTA. It leaves in place the right of foreign investors to sue the U.S. in private tribunals in order to skirt health, safety and environmental laws. On other important issues, including rules of origin for automobiles, labor and environmental standards, currency misalignment and procurement, the draft plan is either silent or so vague that it could be describing the now defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership—an agreement working people wholeheartedly opposed.

“Rewriting the rules of our economy, and specifically changing the way we do trade, was one of the most important issues that voters went to the polls on. If the president wants to keep his promises, he needs to bring that same tough stance he had on the campaign trail to renegotiating America’s trade deals.”

In December, the AFL-CIO outlined six criteria by which to judge any NAFTA renegotiation.