Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Celebrates House’s Passing of USMCA

For Release: 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Contact:

Andrew Crook
o: 202-393-8637 | c: 607-280-6603
acrook@aft.org

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement congratulating the House of Representatives for passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and urged its swift approval in the Senate:

“This deal is a testament to the hard work and commitment of both the labor movement and the speaker of the House, who took what the president first negotiated—which was only somewhat better than NAFTA—and tilted it firmly in the direction of working people.

“It’s not perfect, and we still have to work to do to stop corporations taking jobs out of the United States. But it’s a substantial improvement for workers, who now can enforce labor protections, intellectual property, local government arbitration and drug prices—serious victories that will protect them, their jobs and their communities.

“Trade deals are, by their very nature, a compromise. We will have to remain vigilant to ensure the protections are respected. Still, this is a far better deal than what we were presented with a year ago.

“However, let me be clear: It was only when impeachment became a reality that the president showed an interest in passing a better USMCA. The president campaigned on a promise to help workers, but it was pressure from the labor movement, the speaker and the Democratic caucus that forced him to act on trade.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.