Instead of just trying to defeat bad trade agreements like NAFTA, we support a new vision for trade policy-- trade rules that benefit workers, the environment, and small farmers. That's why we support The TRADE Act.
Congressman Mike Michaud of Maine is sponsoring the TRADE Act - the Trade Reform Accountability Development and Employment Act. This bill would put enforceable labor and environmental protections into trade agreements. If we have a trade agreement with a country, companies there can't use child labor. If we have a trade agreement with a country, companies there can't dump their waste into the rivers. If we import their food, it can't contain toxins that make us sick. If we import their toys, companies there can't put lead in them. These kind of basic protections for workers and consumers are written in to the TRADE Act.
We support trade, but it has to be fair trade. We must level the playing field for workers everywhere to have basic standards, and we must reverse the global race to the bottom that "free" trade has created. That's why the Maine AFL-CIO is proud to support The TRADE Act and we ask Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to sign on as co-sponsors to this crucial legislation.