Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy issued the following statement ahead of Vice President Mike Pence’s scheduled visits to Glyndon & St. Paul to discuss the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the proposed replacement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):
“Much like the Trump/Pence Administration’s labor policy, this ‘New NAFTA’ agreement remains nothing more than a rebranded corporate handout that still hurts working people.
“This fact should be no surprise given Vice President Pence’s long history of supporting corporate managed trade as a member of Congress and his signing of so-called ‘Right to Work’ legislation as Indiana’s Governor.
“The deal lacks effective provisions to reduce outsourcing in key sectors such as processed foods and call centers. Some of the proposed rules are even worse than the current NAFTA, including monopoly rights for pharmaceutical corporations that will keep drug prices sky high and new rules that will undermine public interest protections, such as those that keep workers safe on the job.
“Without major changes to the USMCA, working people will continue to bear the burden of NAFTA’s failures and its impact on our jobs, environment, communities, and democracy.
“More than two years in, working Minnesotans are still looking for real action from an administration that promised trade transformation.”