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SOURCE: TEAMSTER.ORG | (WASHINGTON) – Today, the Teamsters Union submitted its comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on the proposed renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The union’s comments stressed the importance of the renegotiation focusing on long-standing issues that have existed in past and recently proposed agreements, including improving labor rights provisions, addressing currency manipulation and protecting highway safety.
The Teamsters Union believes that to successfully change U.S. trade policy from the flawed “free trade” approach that has undercut American jobs and industry for decades, to one that promotes fair trade, the USTR must prioritize U.S. workers, consumers and manufacturers.
“With these negotiations, the USTR has a real chance to set a precedent that will change how the U.S. approaches future trade negotiations moving forward,” said Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa. “We have seen the damage that NAFTA and free trade policies have done to our country for the past two decades. It is time to negotiate trade agreements that encourage job growth here in the U.S. while revitalizing our manufacturing industry.”
The union also called for the USTR to prioritize transparency during the negotiations and ensure that all stakeholders are included in the process from the beginning.
“As a member of the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations and the Labor Advisory Committee, I look forward to working closely with Ambassador Lighthizer to dramatically upgrade NAFTA,” Hoffa said. “The USTR must avoid making the same mistakes that occurred during the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations by having a fully transparent and inclusive negotiation process.”
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.