Transatlantic Trade Pact: A Chance to Get it Right

With more than 100,000 members working in industries directly impacted by global trade agreements, the IAM is calling on negotiators for the pending Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to make job creation and maintenance the major objective in their discussions.

“In order to negotiate an agreement that will create jobs, not cost jobs, and not lead to a lower standard of living for workers, TTIP negotiators must be willing to replace past trade models based on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with models that are built on transparency, democracy, fairness, protecting labor standards, worker, social and environmental safeguards and  removing certain market distorting activities,” said IAM Trade and Globalization Director Owen Herrnstadt in a statement. “These trade distorting activities include the failure of any country to adopt, implement and effectively enforce fundamental human rights reflected by ILO Conventions and jurisprudence before they enter into a trade agreement. They also include, among other things, eliminating the forced transfer of technology and production in return for market access, often referred to as offsets or offset-like transactions, and eliminating investor to state dispute mechanisms.” 

With relatively high level of labor standards in both the U.S. and the European Union, the IAM is calling on negotiators to insist on the incorporation of ILO Conventions and accompanying jurisprudence in an enforceable labor chapter. Indeed, if these two regions cannot incorporate such a provision, it would send a cynical message to the world about basic commitments to fundamental human rights and the inability to ever negotiate a clear, unambiguous and strong labor chapter in a trade and investment agreement.

“Additionally, as the largest air transport union in North America, the IAM strongly opposes the inclusion of commercial aviation traffic rights,” said Herrnstadt. “These matters are covered by other international concerns which have the expertise that is needed in such technical negotiations.  They must not be included in TTIP negotiations.”