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Oppose the USMCA

Local UAW President asks his Congressman to oppose Trump's trade deal

Brian Schneck's picture
Jul 31, 2019

Below is a letter that was written from UAW 259 President Brian Schneck to Congressman Lee Zeldin, asking him to oppose Trump's USMCA trade deal. The letter was in response to a form letter that was sent from Zeldin to Schneck. Part 1 of Zeldin's letter can be read here and part 2 can be read here.

Congressman Zeldin,

I am in receipt of your letter dated July 23, 2019 which is in response to our interest in knowing your position on the USMCA. The response that you had offered regrettably is unsatisfactory as it does not state your position rather it’s just a rhetorical word salad. So, again, please state your position, meaning will you be voting YES or NO if, and when the USMCA is put on the floor for an up or down vote.

Our preference is that you use the power of your office and influence with the President to make sure there is no floor vote thus effectively allowing NAFTA to expire.

Reason is, for the last twenty-five years since the enactment of NAFTA, working people all across this Country have seen their wages reduced and stagnated, factories closed, their jobs outsourced to cheap labor countries, too many communities have been economically devastated, tax bases on all levels of our governments have suffered tremendously thus there is no economic resources to re-invest in our infrastructure and education system.

Why is this? It’s all by design, it’s all because of the pro-corporate and anti-worker trade policies that our past and current political leaders have imposed upon the American worker and our country, enough is enough!

Congressman Zeldin, as you travel on the AMTRAK from New York to Washington DC, all you will see is the consequences of flawed US trade policy and the devastation that it has brought to our country. Factories and Industrial Complexes that once employed hundreds of thousands of workers whom were members of unions which enjoyed strong wages and benefits along with the immediate surrounding communities that were once vibrant and packed with middle class Americans are now just rotting and decaying all because of decades of flawed US trade policy.

In our view, the USMCA is just a re-branding of NAFTA and this is why:

For more than 30 years, trade deals have been nothing more than investment deals. The goals of these investment deals has not been to promote America’s exports as much as it was to make it easier for American corporations to move capital out of the United States, produce product in cheap labor countries such as Mexico and ship products back to the U.S. for massive profits.  The result has been trade deficits and falling wages. The USMCA will continue to allow the aforementioned. Our goal should be a world economy that’s structured around the virtuous cycle of broad-based rising incomes and rising living standards, rather than a vicious cycle of falling incomes and financial instability.

 

Just look at the GM example, in November 2018, GM announced 15,000 workers are to lay off, four US plants are to be closed while GM continues at rapid rate to add more and more production to its plants in Mexico. This is only proof that American corporations like GM only care about profits and not people. Further, this was simultaneously happening as the Trump Administration was completing its negotiations on the USMCA with both Canada and Mexico.

It’s clear to us that GM does fear the USMCA so why would any other American corporation?

Mexico must pass legislation to enforce labor and environmental standards to which it has committed to.  These laws must be implemented, monitored and enforced.  Workers in Mexico must be able to form labor organizations which would effectively begin to stop the downward pressure on wages in the U.S. and Canada. The problem is that none of the aforementioned is mandated by the USMCA thus American workers will continue to be faced with stagnant wages and their jobs being shipped to Mexico even with the USMCA.

Congressman Zeldin, no deal is better than no deal!

We look forward to learning your position and how you shall vote on the USMCA.

Thank you,

Brian Schneck, President

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