Hoffa: NAFTA Shows the Damage Fast Track Could Bring

Posted: January 6, 2014
Source: James P. Hoffa, Huffington Post
IBT President, Jim HoffaCongress will kick off 2014 by likely considering legislation that would allow bum trade deals to speed through Capitol Hill with little debate and no amendments. The Teamsters and others have been vocal on what a bad idea that would be. And it isn’t hard to prove why.

Big business interests and some policymakers have been quick to laud deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as ones that would help the economy. But on the 20th anniversary of another must-have trade deal, NAFTA, Americans can see for themselves what such agreements have meant for rank-and-file workers.

Since the pact between the U.S., Mexico and Canada was ratified using fast-track trade authority, America has lost nearly 700,000 jobs. Jobs have been shipped across borders, gutting the middle class. Those who have continued to work have seen their pay slashed. Families who used to have a shot at the American dream are now living in a nightmare.

Corporate America loves to tout the growth in trade especially between the U.S. and Mexico due to NAFTA. But those dollars have largely gone into the pockets of top executives. Meanwhile, in Texas alone, workers and union affiliates of some 2,500 companies have filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Labor for training or temporary assistance due to job loss. That help, however, doesn’t come close to matching the good-paying jobs that left.
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