Resolution #1: Fair Trade Agreements That Raise Living Standards in the U.S. and Abroad

WHEREAS, the Indiana State AFL-CIO, has consistently opposed bad trade policies that de-industrialized our economy, put the interests of multinational companies first, weakened bargaining power for workers around the world, and pushed aside the interests of communities and the environment; and

WHEREAS, in 2016, voters across the country clearly called for a better trade policy that restores trust in the way we've managed globalization; and

WHEREAS, economists, political figures, the labor community, and organizations of civil society are calling for a new approach to globalization that puts public interests above investor interests; and

WHEREAS, a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives (H. Res. 132) introduced by Representative Peter Defazio (OR) requires countries to fully implement strong enforceable labor and environmental standards before any changes to NAFTA can take effect; and

WHEREAS, H. Res 132 also deals with dispute settlement, currency misalignment, rules of origin, food safety, access to medicines, Buy American, and many other shortcomings that have plagued our trade policy since NAFTA; and

WHEREAS, the Trump administration intends to re-negotiate NAFTA and may move forward with the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), a multilateral trade deal involving dozens of countries and most of our trading partners; and

WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO recommended that reconsideration of NAFTA include a new international mechanism to monitor and enforce strong labor rights, recognizing that no previous administration has enforced even the weak language from past agreements, and we expect even less from the current administration; now,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Indiana State AFL-CIO will advocate for a positive trade agenda that balances trade, raises living standards in the U.S. and abroad, and prioritizes the needs of workers and the environment over the interests of global corporations; using House Resolution 132 and the AFL-CIO proposal on renegotiating NAFTA as measures of what a good trade policy looks like; and be it further

AND, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Indiana State AFL-CIO will inform affiliates about well-designed policies that help workers get our share of gains from globalization, and prioritize public interests in our trade policy. In addition, the Indiana State AFL-CIO will work with national labor partners, other state federations, elected officials, and coalition allies, as needed, to advocate for these measures in our trade policies; and be it finally 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Indiana State AFL-CIO will inform our congressional delegation of our position on the renegotiation of NAFTA and continue to educate elected officials on what a labor friendly trade policy should include.

Submitted by: Brett Voorhies, President, Indiana State AFL-CIO, USW