Canada Is Using NAFTA to Demand Protection for US Unions
Canadian negotiators are pushing the US to do away with anti-labor
policies like “right to work.”
By Michelle ChenTwitter SEPTEMBER 14, 2017
As unions and Big Business prepare to square off in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, there will be a heated debate over the continental trade pact’s impact on job losses and offshoring. But there’s one major source of “cheap labor” that isn’t much talked about: America. And as Washington vows to fix what Trump calls the “worst trade deal” ever, Canada, too, wants to fix its southern neighbor’s labor laws.
US labor has long criticized NAFTA as an enemy of unions, corroding domestic labor standards while spurring offshoring of blue-collar jobs to “low-road” Global South nations. But, up north, Canada’s unions fear exactly the same from the United States—that Washington’s relatively lax regulatory regime is dragging down standards and sucking away jobs.