IAM Seeks New Model for U.S. – E.U. Trade Agreement

“The upcoming U.S.-E.U. trade negotiations represent an opportunity for a 21st Century trade agreement that puts people first, but only if the agreement is based on a new model — not the NAFTA-style agreements of the past, including KORUS, Peru and Colombia, which have failed workers.” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger.

Given the strong labor rights that exist in many European countries, the IAM is urging U.S. negotiators to insist on the incorporation of ILO Conventions in an enforceable labor chapter, and upward harmonization of labor laws, regulations, policies and directives.  The IAM calls for the elimination of one-sided investor-to-state provisions and European offset programs that require the transfer of technology and production from the U.S. to EU countries. The IAM also calls for the preservation of Buy American laws and the Jones Act.

The IAM is also cautioning against any proposals that could lead to further offshoring U.S. jobs by, among other things, making it possible for U.S. companies to move jobs to European countries whose wages and worker protections do not reach the level of the rest of the EU. “We are strongly opposed to proposals that could be used to expand austerity programs like those that have been mandated for certain European countries,” said Buffenbarger.