Trump, Lighthizer to meet with union leaders at White House

  • February 21, 2018

Trump, Lighthizer to meet with union leaders at White House

The White House staff is meeting with leaders of some major unions to discuss trade, according to a report from POLITICO.

President Donald Trump, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and other White House officials will meet with a half-dozen labor union leaders to talk about trade, the White House said today.

Labor leaders who will attend the meeting include Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO; Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers; James Hoffa, president of the Teamsters; Chris Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America; Robert Martinez, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; and Dennis Williams, president of the United Auto Workers.

The closed-door meeting, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the White House, comes as the administration is gearing up for the seventh round of talks to renegotiate NAFTA. Negotiators from all three countries will convene the next round on Sunday in Mexico City.

Besides Trump and Lighthizer, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, chief of staff John Kelly, senior adviser Jared Kushner and staff secretary Derek Lyons will also be in attendance.

The White House did not release details of what would be on the meeting agenda, but attendees are sure to discuss labor provisions in NAFTA. Labor leaders and Democrats in Congress have been pushing for stricter labor standards in any renegotiated deal, saying the Trump administration’s initial proposal should only be considered as a “starting point.”

Lighthizer has recognized labor shortcomings in Mexico but has not committed to offering a revised proposal nor has he explained how enforceable the current U.S. proposal would be, lawmakers said during the last round of talks.