Trump to discuss NAFTA with union leaders today
According to a report from POLITICO, President Donald Trump will meet with union leaders at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the status of NAFTA negotiations, the White House said.
Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will meet with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Teamsters President James Hoffa Jr., United Automobile Workers President Gary Jones, International Association of Machinists President Robert Martinez, and United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard. They’ll be joined by several top White House officials, including chief of staff John Kelly and trade adviser Peter Navarro, deputy White House press secretary Lindsay Walters said.
The U.S. and Mexico have struggled in recent weeks to nail down labor provisions in NAFTA. Negotiators are still figuring out how to make the agreement’s new labor rules enforceable in way that will overcome the Trump administration’s aversion to being bound to trade rules. Unions in both countries argue that wage suppression south of the border is largely the result of workers being threatened or stymied when they try to organize.
Trumka and other labor leaders have praised Trump’s approach on trade, even as they routinely spar with his administration on other issues such as worker safety and union rights for federal workers. Last month, Trumka praised Trump’s threat to hike tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent. The UAW and AFL-CIO have reportedly expressed support for moving forward with tariffs on cars, trucks and automotive parts as well.
“We are meeting with the president to reaffirm what a good deal for working people really looks like,” Trumka said in a written statement, “starting with strong workers’ rights backed up by effective enforcement tools unlike those that have failed in that past and led to the unrelenting outsourcing of work to Mexico, eliminating corporate courts and new rules of origin that are fair to America’s workers. There should be a sunset provision to ensure that these changes work for working people.”