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International UAW Statement
Concerning Modifications to NAFTA

As the IEB is aware, yesterday our trade negotiators reached an agreement with Canada to modify NAFTA, otherwise known as USMCA. The Administration is rebranding the agreement by calling it USMCA which stands for United States-Mexico-Canada. The Administration had reached an agreement with Mexico several days before. Yesterday, the text was publicly released and we are in the process of analyzing it with our research department. We will report back once our analysis is complete.

Under President Jones’ leadership, we continue to push for stronger enforcement mechanism in the labor chapter and in the implementing bill.

(The implementing bill accompanying the agreement modifies U.S.  law to be consistent with the agreement.  The implementing bill can also include additional provisions that are not reflected in the agreement. For example, increasing funding for customs enforcement). We are working closely with labor and congressional allies to try to ensure that our priorities are addressed.

Best regards,

Josh Nassar
International UAW Legislative Director

Timeline

  • Under the rules of fast track the agreement must be publicly available for 60 days before the U.S. can officially sign it. It will likely be signed by or around November 30th. 
  • After it is signed the International Trade Commission (ITC) is required to submit a report to Congress on the economic impact of the trade deal within 105 days of the agreement being signed by the President. In the past, the report has taken over three months to write but the ITC has been working on the report. It might be completed earlier.  Therefore, Congress is unlikely to vote on it before January.  A vote is unlikely to occur before early 2019, sometime during first session of the 116th Congress.  As you will recall, under the terms of fast track, the agreement cannot be filibustered or amended.

Please see President Jones’ statement below and a link to a report by the labor advisory committee (LAC).  We signed off on and contributed to the LAC report.    

I will keep you posted on new developments as they arise. Please let me know if you have questions or need additional information.

UAW President Gary Jones Issues Statement on USMCA Announcement

“For a quarter century, NAFTA has been disastrous for working people in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and a gift to corporations offshoring good U.S. jobs. The true test of a new NAFTA agreement will be in whether it protects and enhances opportunities for the U.S. workforce and leads to higher wages and benefits for UAW members and manufacturing workers who have suffered for far too long. We think the idea and concept of the USMCA could have the potential to provide some needed relief for America’s working families.

Numerous details still need to be reviewed and resolved before making a final judgment on this agreement. New protections for working families and the closing of some loopholes for global companies seeking to ship jobs overseas are a step in the right direction but there is more work to do. We need to be assured that Mexico is going to fix weak labor laws and enforce new worker protections. We do not know what the USTR and Congress will do to make sure the words in the agreement are carried out. We need to review and resolve the details of the agreement when they are available to be sure that this agreement truly ends NAFTA’s legacy of shuttered factories and low wages.

Given the history of loopholes in NAFTA, the UAW will withhold final judgment until all the pieces are put in place in order to determine whether this agreement will protect our UAW jobs and the living standards of all Americans.”

LAC Report Online

For your reference, here is the LAC Report Online: https://aflcio.org/reports/report-impacts-renegotiated-north-american-free-trade-agreement

 



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Ron Hendrix