UPDATE (Sept. 11, 2017) — From the Washington Fair Trade Coalition: “We regret to inform you that we will be postponing our hearing with Representative Smith on immigration, workers, and NAFTA, due to scheduling and logistical problems. We are disappointed that we weren’t able to pull together all the pieces to take advantage of this opportunity with Congressman Smith. Representative Smith’s office will be preparing an official statement on workers and NAFTA renegotiation to read at our annual breakfast on November 15, at 8AM, at the IAM 751 District Lodge in South Park, Seattle, where we will continue to focus on workers, immigration, and NAFTA. Please consider joining us that morning. For more information, call 206-227-3079.”
SEATAC — Although little progress has been reported, the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is rolling ahead at breakneck speed. Given that the public and advocates for working people have once again been shut out of these talks, what can be done to publicize how NAFTA has impacted workers and immigrant workers in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, and to demand a new NAFTA that works for all of us?
Join Rep. Adam Smith (D-9th), the Washington Fair Trade Coalition and people in our community who have been impacted by NAFTA for a discussion about what must change. “A New NAFTA: Putting Worker and Immigrant Voices First” will be Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the IBEW 77 Hall, 19415 International Blvd in SeaTac. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the forum will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. (This event has been CANCELLED — see above.)
In addition to the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, sponsors of this event include the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO; Faith Action Network; UFCW 21; Community Alliance for Global Justice, Pierce County Central Labor Council, Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans, Legacy of Equality Leadership and Organizing, Community to Community Development, Puget Sound Advocates for Retiree Action, Occupy Bellingham, Mangrove Action Project, Backbone Campaign, South Sound Democratic Socialists of America, and Health Alliance International.
The AFL-CIO has published an extensive set of recommendations that could turn NAFTA into a trade agreement that empowers working people. The recommendations include changes to labor and procurement rules, as well as improved consumer protections and new rules to prevent currency misalignment and tax dodging. The improvements are meant to ensure working people receive a fair return on their work and new rules aren’t written to benefit wealthy corporations and CEOs.
“It is time for the Trump administration to rewrite NAFTA the right way,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.