The AFL-CIO, the country’s largest labor federation, will support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, marking the first time in nearly two decades that the labor group has endorsed a trade deal.
“Make no mistake, we demanded a trade deal that benefits workers and fought every single day to negotiate that deal; and now we have secured an agreement that working people can proudly support,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.
The labor group’s endorsement makes it likely that a vote on the NAFTA replacement deal will clear Congress. Upon taking control of the House in 2018, Democrats demanded changes to the 25-year-old agreement after it was renegotiated by the Trump administration. The revised deal will strengthen the deal’s enforcement of labor and environment rules.
The last trade deal the AFL-CIO endorsed was the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement in 2001.
“The USMCA is far from perfect. It alone is not a solution for outsourcing, inequality or climate change. Successfully tackling these issues requires a full-court press of economic policies that empower workers, including the repeal of tax cuts which reward companies for shipping our jobs overseas,” Trumka said.