Trump’s NAFTA stance creates the illusion that he supports unions. Some even imagine that since NAFTA is nominally reciprocal, Mexico or Canada working with the U.S. labor movement could lodge complaints against union-busting in the U.S.
Don’t hold your breath. The add-on bill singles out Mexico for enforcement. No inspectors from Canada or Mexico can monitor practices in the U.S., though in principle complaints are allowed.
But Trump’s is the most anti-union Labor Department on record. His labor secretaries have systematically dismantled the Obama administration’s efforts to restore labor rights.
When it comes to trade unionism, the new NAFTA is mostly about optics and election-year posturing. If we want labor rights, that will take a new administration.