Donald Trump is getting support from some unlikely folks on the left.
Big Labor – including the powerful United Auto Workers – have come out in favor of President Trump renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.
In a letter, the UAW voiced their approval for a change in the treaty. They were one of more than 550 groups filing public comments to the U.S. Trade office before Monday’s deadline, The Daily Caller reports.
“Since NAFTA, our trade surplus with Mexico has vanished and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs have been lost. Most of these job losses have been in manufacturing,” UAW Legislative Director Josh Nassar said in a letter submitted to the trade representative June 6, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Trump’s “America First” message struck a powerful chord with American workers – including powerful labor unions. Battleground states were no doubt turned on the backs of his commitment to bring back blue-collar manufacturing jobs. Even workers who normally vote Democratic supported Trump, despite union leaders’ full-throated support for Hillary Clinton.
Trump announced last month his intention of renegotiating the two-decade-old treaty.
The leader of the United Auto Workers – Dennis Williams – said shortly after Trump’s victory that he would be willing to work with the administration on overhauling NAFTA.
The AFL-CIO, also on board with the NAFTA re-negotiation, identified six ways they said the treaty could be improved:
- Includes standards, regulation and enforcement designed to protect the average worker.
- Ensures labor and environmental standards are high, clear, and enforced.
- Creates a more transparent system for trade disputes in an effort to protect workers rather than, in the opinion of the AFL-CIO, powerful banks and corporations.
- Adopts more robust “rules of origin,” requiring automotive manufacturers to make a higher percentage of a new vehicle and its parts in the originating country in order to qualify for tariff-free trade.
- Allows the participating countries and municipalities to adopt local-sourcing policies and eliminate a chapter in the trade agreement that bans them.