Opposing Current Version of NAFTA 2.0

WHEREAS, free trade agreements of the last 25 years like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have benefited multinational corporations and economic elites at the expense of working families;

WHEREAS, NAFTA has displaced close to one million U.S. jobs, allowing China into the World Trade Organization has cost 3.2 million jobs, and the most recent FTA with Korea has already caused the loss of more than 90,000 jobs in 5 years;

WHEREAS, since the passage of NAFTA, the federal government has certified that in
Texas more than 172,000 manufacturing and service jobs have been lost to offshoring or imports and 70,000 Texas manufacturing jobs have disappeared;

WHEREAS, while free trade agreements were advertised as new opportunities for agricultural exports, in fact imports have surged, exports have slowed, and thousands of family farms have disappeared;

WHEREAS, NAFTA has devastated family farm agriculture in Mexico, displacing more than 2.5 million Mexican farm families;

WHEREAS, NAFTA has accelerated growth of sweatshop conditions in maquiladoras;

WHEREAS, Donald Trump exploited genuine concern and anger at what NAFTA and other FTAs had done to working class communities across the country and vowed to stop outsourcing in a renegotiated agreement, gaining the presidency in the process;

WHEREAS, though the Trump Administration has renegotiated NAFTA and renamed the "new" agreement the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA), the result looks more like NAFTA 2.0; 

WHEREAS, the words of Trump's NAFTA 2.0 include policies fought for by the AFL-CIO and its allies for more than 25 years, including improved Mexican labor rights, better rules of origin language, and elimination of most of the corporate courts used to overturn progressive domestic policies; 

WHEREAS, the enforcement mechanisms for these reformed policies are sadly lacking;

WHEREAS, new language in NAFTA 2.0 locks in monopoly powers of pharmaceutical corporations over new life-saving biologic drugs, restricts production of more affordable generic drugs, and blocks efforts to reform Medicare and Medicaid to lower prices of medicine;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, delegates to the Texas AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention support the position of the national AFL-CIO, its allies in the fair trade movement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the majority of Democratic members in Congress that there be No Vote on NAFTA Until It’s Fixed by adding strong, effective and swift enforcement mechanisms and eliminating the new pharmaceutical language that will raise drug prices; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, this Convention urges all state labor organizations, Central Labor Councils, Building Trades Councils, union locals, constituency groups, and individual union members to contact their Congressional representatives and let them know we expect them to stand with working Texas families and our position of No Vote on NAFTA Until It’s Fixed.

Submitted by: Bob Cash, Executive Director, Texas Fair Trade Coalition