House Democrats, labor groups push for ultimatum on NAFTA talks


Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), joined by six House Democrats, on Thursday introduced a resolution called the “Blueprint for America’s Future Trade Policy” that outlines principles and a time line for the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

[Daily News| February 16, 2017 |Inside US Trade]

The resolution is designed to put pressure on the new administration by requiring that talks on revising NAFTA be initiated no later than June 1, and it says a fully revised deal — one that includes the lawmakers’ goals, as laid out in the blueprint — should be hammered out “within one year of beginning negotiations.”

Should negotiations for a new deal not be completed — or all of the lawmaker’s requirements not agreed to — within the one-year time frame, the blueprint “directs the President to consider withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA.”

“After working with labor stakeholders and fair trade advocates, we have come up with principles that will serve as the foundation of a sustainable trade policy that will bring jobs back to the U.S. while protecting America’s environment, workers, consumers, and sovereignty,” DeFazio told reporters on Feb. 16.

DeFazio was joined by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (CT), Bobby Scott (VA), Jane Schakowsky (IL), Dan Lipinski (IL), Debbie Dingell (MI) and Rick Nolan (MN) in unveiling what they called an “affirmative” trade agenda. The lawmakers were joined by Celeste Drake, trade policy specialist for AFL-CIO, and Debbie Sease, legislative and advocacy director for the Sierra Club, in support of the blueprint.

Other organizations that voiced support for the blueprint included the Teamsters, United Steelworkers, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Communications Workers of America, Public Citizen and Citizens Trade Campaign.

Read more at Inside US Trade


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