U.S. Must Seek Strong Protections for Jobs in NAFTA Talks

The Daily Herald (Everett, Wash.) featured a Letter to the Editor by Michael Schendel, president of Washington Alliance of Technology Workers/TNG-CWA Local 37083, on how ongoing NAFTA negotiations must include strong protections for U.S. workers:

Already, the third round of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is finishing up, and despite Trump's promises to make NAFTA better for workers, recently his team proposed only weak standards that would do nothing to stem the flow of jobs to wherever workers can be paid the least.

NAFTA and subsequent deals have cost more than 79,000 direct jobs here in Washington State, according to just one narrow government retraining program that for most of its existence didn’t even include service jobs like call centers that were closed and shipped overseas. These job losses push down everyone's wages: NAFTA-style trade has suppressed most Americans' pay by 12.2 percent, according to a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. That means some $3,300 less in their pockets each year for workers earning the median U.S. wage! Workers in Mexico don’t benefit, either, from the dangerous, low-wage jobs that move in and dominate their economy.

Read the full letter here.