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Hoffa: USMCA Will Ensure Safer Roadways, Increased Labor Rights For Workers

| July 6, 2020

Innovative Trade Deal Includes Long Sought Cross-Border Trucking Provision

The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the revised North American trade deal that takes effect Wednesday.

“For the first time today, Teamster truckers will have protections on the job that they haven’t had in at least a quarter century thanks to the enactment of this new trade pact. The deal was possible due to the hard work of the Teamsters, a bipartisan collection of policymakers and allies who joined together and worked for years to get it done.

“From the get-go, securing an overdue fix to the cross-border trucking provision that threatened highway safety and the competitiveness of the American trucking industry was essential for this union. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) had made roadways less safe due to allowing older, Mexican-domiciled trucks on them.

“But thanks to the hard work of House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and allies such as the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association and Advocates for Highway Safety, the USMCA adds a trade remedy to safeguard against material harm to U.S. truckers. We thank USTR Ambassador Bob Lighthizer and his team for working with us on this issue and we will continue to work closely with the agencies tasked with implementation of the trucks fix to ensure it is implemented vigorously and transparently.

“Addressing cross-border trucking was necessary, but not sufficient, to securing the Teamsters’ support of the agreement. That came with new enforcement mechanisms that will protect worker rights in Mexico, especially the right to form independent unions. The new labor chapter also includes the right to strike as an expression of the freedom of association and contains protections against workplace violence and for migrant workers.

“USMCA also eliminated the investor state dispute settlement chapter from the original NAFTA that gave foreign corporations greater rights than American citizens.”

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