I was convinced by Burfisher &al. back in 2001 http://www2.hawaii.edu/~noy/362texts/NAFTA-US.pdf that old NAFTA had been a net plus for United States autoworkers—and a huge plus for North American autoworkers. The downside industries seemed to be furniture, timber, and possibly apparel. But I do agree with Sandy and Harley that worker-rights violations ought to be as subject to trade sanctions as other violations of the rules of the international trading game. Sherrod Brown and company did not get that from Trump's underbriefed negotiators, but they did get a lot: Sander M. Levin and Harley Shaiken: _How Can Americans Compete With Mexicans Making a Tenth of What They Do? https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/opinion/UAW-GM-Mexico-Nafta.html: 'Despite financial gains won recently by the United Auto Workers in a new contract that ended a nearly six-week-long strike against General Motors, the longest in a half-century, the deal will not rectify the major problem that has hurt American autoworkers and will continue to do so. The problem has been the longstanding lack of workers’ rights in Mexico. Wages there are roughly one-tenth of what American workers earn and the unions are often tools of the employer. This has warped the playing field and resulted in the transfer of American manufacturing jobs to south of the border. American autoworkers have been hit particularly hard. This situation can be blamed in part on a flawed 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement and addendum that, though it included provisions to protect workers, failed to ensure adequate monitoring and enforcement. Transgressions of workers’ rights were not subject to trade sanctions.... Congress must insist that Mexico first demonstrate that workers there can form independent unions and bargain collectively before agreeing to any new trade deal.... Mexico should focus on worker rights in the auto industry, which accounts for 37 percent of the country’s exports to the United States...


#noted #2019-12-26

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