For Immediate Release
New NAFTA Agreement is a Work in Progress
WASHINGTON - For nearly 25 years, the North American Free Trade Agreement has driven a race to the bottom in standards for wages and working conditions for working people in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
For millions of working families, NAFTA has meant lost jobs, closed factories and call centers, and lower wages, with most unable to find jobs that provide similar levels of pay and benefits. For communities, it has meant a loss of important public services and cuts in education and other programs as employers abandon cities and towns to relocate out of the country.
"From the start of these negotiations, I have been clear about what a successful agreement would look like," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "First and foremost, it must reverse the incentives corporations have to send jobs offshore. We are reviewing the agreement announced last night by negotiators from the United States, Mexico, and Canada to see if it meets this basic test."
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The deal limits the ability of corporations to challenge local, state and federal laws through Investor State Dispute Settlement lawsuits and it strengthens labor obligations. However, the agreement falls short by failing to include a strong enforcement process to hold the parties accountable to those obligations or limits on call center job offshoring.
CWA will continue to work with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and members of Congress to address these concerns and ensure that the final agreement puts working people first.
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The Communications Workers of America represents 700,000 working men and women in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, public service and manufacturing.