NAFTA Marks 20 Years of Hurting Working People

In a new Machinists News Network video, IAM Chief of Staff and Trade and Globalization Director Owen Herrnstadt says companies use the threat of moving jobs to Mexico to stifle worker’s rights to form their own union.

A new Machinists News Network video highlights the job loss and wage reduction that has come from the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) since it was ratified 20 years ago.

At the time of NAFTA’s inception in 1994, supporters said the three-way pact between the U.S., Mexico and Canada would create thousands of American jobs. Instead, many American companies have taken advantage of cheaper labor south of the border by moving an estimated 700,000 manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

“Anytime you merge a labor market with Mexico, where wages are kept low because of the suppression of workers’ rights, that means it has an impact on U.S. and Canadian workers because they are competing for business and the same work,” said Owen Herrnstadt, IAM Chief of Staff and Director of the IAM’s Trade and Globalization Department.

Labor leaders are urging lawmakers to remember the two-decade anniversary of NAFTA when considering Fast Track Authority for the equally destructive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal between the U.S. and 11 other countries that would outsource thousands more jobs to countries that don’t respect workers’ rights.

Click here to tell Congress that Fast Track for the TPP is bad for democracy and bad for working people.

Click here to watch “NAFTA’s 20 Year Anniversary.”

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