AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Sunday said that unions are not ready to back the White House’s “unenforceable” replacement for the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA), despite President Trump’s claims.
“If Mexico can’t enforce their own agreement, this agreement will never work because their wages will be artificially low and they will suck jobs and capital out of the United States,” Trumka told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace of the proposed United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“An unenforceable trade deal is a windfall for corporations and a disaster for workers,” he added.
Trumka also took issue with the Trump administration’s handling of its ongoing trade war with China, saying that while “tak[ing] on China” was necessary, “to take on China there has to be a multilateral approach … one country can’t take on China.”
Wallace also questioned Trumka on the level of rank-and-file support for Trump, who has frequently claimed only union leadership oppose his policies.
“He came to our members and said ‘I’m going to change the rules of the economy and they believed him,’ ” Trumka said, adding that in the meantime, Trump has “opposed every increase in the minimum wage” and proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
“I’ve tried to call balls and strikes with him and I have to say unfortunately while he may not even know what his administration is doing, they’ve done more to hurt workers than they’ve done to help them,” Trumka said.
“Our members are still waiting for the supposed greatness of this economy to reach their kitchen tables,” he added.