December 29, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Saying that the North American Free Trade Agreement should be rewritten to stop encouraging “exploitative, sweatshop jobs in Mexico,” the AFL-CIO released a blueprint Dec. 20 with six ideas for how to change it.
The recommendations include eliminating the private justice system for foreign investors; creating and enforcing strong labor and environmental standards; setting rules to prevent countries from devaluing their currency to make their exports cheaper; closing the loopholes that enable auto parts made elsewhere to be defined as originating in North America; deleting the section that prohibits laws requiring U.S. governments to purchase U.S.-made products; and deleting or amending the provision that lets trade-enforcement cases be appealed to a binational panel instead of domestic courts. “With different rules, NAFTA could become a tool to raise wages and working conditions in all three North American countries, rather than to lower them,” the federation said. Read more