Labor Voices: New NAFTA Is a Start, but Bringing Back Jobs Will Require More

Overhauling the North American Free Trade Act may have been a start, but the work has just begun.

We will need to be diligent to make sure Mexico fully implements its labor law reforms and puts an end to company unions and sham contracts. We will be there every step of the way to try to ensure all parties to the agreement live up to their part of the bargain.

After all, if working conditions truly improve in Mexico, then wages will rise, and companies will be less eager to abandon our country. Only time will tell if revised NAFTA will make a real difference.

UAW members opposed NAFTA when it was crafted over 25 years ago because they feared it would lead to the closing of manufacturing plants all over our country and the moving of hundreds of thousands of good U.S. jobs to Mexico. Our worst nightmares became reality. To this day, motor vehicle manufacturers continue to make big bets on manufacturing in Mexico as almost every major automaker has plans to increase capacity. In 2018, our auto trade deficit was nearly $61 billion while the auto parts imbalance was over $29 billion. By all indications, the deficit will be even greater in 2019.

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