The good news: the North American Free Trade Agreement is finally being renegotiated because America’s working people demanded it. Our hard work made clear that the original, failed NAFTA cannot continue.
The bad news: there’s still more work to do to fix NAFTA. America’s working families cannot support the revised NAFTA without additional changes to the text and supporting provisions in implementing legislation.
This revised NAFTA needs fixing. Without better rules and swift and certain enforcement, Mexico’s workers will continue to face threats and violence when trying to join an independent union. Without a union and a contract, Mexico’s workers will continue to make wages of $2 per hour or less. If the new rules allow corporate CEOs to continue to close shop in the U.S. and move to Mexico in pursuit of low wages and weak labor and environmental standards, the renegotiation will have been a failure.
And some of the revised deal’s rules are even worse than the current NAFTA, including monopoly rights for pharmaceutical corporations that will keep drug prices sky high and new rules that will undermine public interest protections, such as workplace safety.
Rather than accepting that this is the best that the three countries can do, we’re urging the parties to go back to the table to fight for an ironclad agreement that working people can endorse and be proud of. Let’s get a deal that puts families and communities first.
Trade Policy Specialist, AFL-CIO
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