With NAFTA Renegotiation Expected to Begin this Week, BGA Finds an Opportunity to Change America’s Trade Policy for Workers and the Environment
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 15, 2017) With official talks expected to start later this week on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the BlueGreen Alliance—a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations—today released its trade policy statement, The Road to Fair Trade Deals, which lays out recommendations for a new approach to trade deals that supports good union jobs, livable wages, healthy communities, clean air and water, and a more stable climate.
“NAFTA was a failed promise for too many workers and communities with the loss of jobs and increased pollution,” said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director, Kim Glas. “We have an opportunity now to change this nation’s approach to trade and focus on a deal that will create and maintain good jobs and protect our environment. Anything short of this will simply be another failure.”
The policy lays out six principles for NAFTA renegotiations, including: establishing a transparent and inclusive process; eliminating corporate tribunals that incentivize offshoring and undermine environmental protections; including strong and binding labor and environmental protections; creating a stronger, independent enforcement mechanism; protecting and promoting Buy American and green procurement policies; and strengthening rules of origin.
“For decades, people and organizations from across the country have been demanding trade deals that put our communities and our climate first, not multinational corporations’ profits,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “NAFTA renegotiation—and any new trade deals—must prioritize the rights of workers, the health of our communities, and our clean air and water. These are priorities that this plan will put well before corporate profits, and any deal that falls short of these widely-shared priorities will face the same opposition that defeated the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
“We need to make sure that the NAFTA renegotiation leads to good jobs in all three countries,” said United Steelworkers (USW) International President, Leo W. Gerard. “NAFTA needs to protect labor rights and raise wages and improve benefits for all workers.”
The BlueGreen Alliance unites America’s largest labor unions and its most influential environmental organizations to solve today’s environmental challenges in ways that create and maintain quality jobs and build a stronger, fairer economy. Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org or follow us on Twitter @bgalliance.