Ron Bieber, the president of the Michigan AFL-CIO, criticized President Trump for spending more time golfing than working to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a deal that he says has been a “total trainwreck for Michigan,” having destroyed tens of thousands of jobs.
“We need to rewrite NAFTA the right way — making it easier to export Michigan products instead of Michigan jobs,” Bieber wrote in a column published Tuesday in The Detroit News.
“That means negotiating a new trade agreement through a transparent and democratic process, where working people have a seat at the table.”
Last year, Trump promised Michigan voters he would renegotiate NAFTA during his first 100 days in office, Bieber wrote.
“Well, it’s been almost 200 days, and so far he hasn’t kept that promise,” he wrote.
“Trump has spent more time on the golf course than at the NAFTA negotiating table.”
Fighting for fair trade policies should be a “bipartisan issue” for a state like Michigan, Bieber continued.
“But instead, Republican members of our congressional delegation have repeatedly voted for bad trade deals,” he wrote.
He called out Republican lawmakers, saying they support pro-corporate trade deals “because that’s what their wealthy corporate donors want.”
“And while Trump talked a good game on trade during the campaign, he hasn’t kept his promises to working families,” Bieber wrote.
“When it comes to trade policies like NAFTA, actions speak louder than words.”
The Hill added:
Last month, Trump’s top trade official said renegotiating NAFTA by the end of the year could prove difficult.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the Senate Finance Committee he wants to shorten aspects of the negotiations with Mexico and Canada in the modernization of the 23-year-old pact.
But he gave no hint as to when he expected a completed final deal that would be ready to send to Congress.
“We’re going to have a very short time frame, and we’re going to compact it as much as we possibly can,” Lighthizer said.