AFL-CIO backs Trump's North American trade pact

AFL-CIO backs Trump's North American trade pact
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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka announced Tuesday that the powerful labor confederation will support President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE’s new North American trade deal, paving the way for likely passage in the Democratic-controlled House.

Trumka said in a statement that the AFL-CIO endorses Trump’s proposed revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) after Democrats successfully negotiated for tougher labor standards.

“Make no mistake, we demanded a trade deal that benefits workers and fought every single day to negotiate that deal,” Trumka said, “and now we have secured an agreement that working people can proudly support.”

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His endorsement came moments before Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDC argues it is shortchanged by coronavirus relief bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike MORE (D-Calif.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealJudge puts new hold on Democrats' lawsuit seeking Trump tax returns MA lawmakers press HHS secretary on status of state's protective equipment Senators offer bill to extend tax filing deadline MORE (D-Mass.) announced a deal to pass the trade pact, dubbed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Democrats have worked closely with the AFL-CIO and other labor groups to secure stricter labor oversight provisions in talks with White House officials. The AFL-CIO’s rare endorsement of a trade deal clears the way for progressive Democrats to support the USMCA without fear of blowback from unions.

Trumka told The Washington Post on Monday that he was reviewing a tentative USMCA agreement with his executive committee, expressing optimism about labor-related changes. U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerGOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House MORE will sign an updated version of the pact Tuesday in Mexico City with Mexican and Canadian officials.

"President Trump may have opened this deal. But working people closed it. And for that, we should be very proud," Trumka said in Tuesday's statement.