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Trump Team Unlikely to Fight for NAFTA Worker Safety Rewrite

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Bloomberg BNA discusses NAFTA with Marc Scribner

Worker safety and labor advocates don’t see eye to eye with President Donald Trump on very much, but one thing they both agree on is that NAFTA should be rewritten.

Yet economists and global trade specialists tell Bloomberg BNA they can’t see the Trump administration demanding significant changes to the North American Free Tree Agreement’s side labor agreement. That comes as a bitter pill—though not an unexpected one—to labor advocates, who see the possibility of new talks as a perfect opportunity to rip up a labor pact that, in their view, has never gone far enough to protect workers on the job.

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Of course, not everyone agrees. To Marc Scribner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the labor and environmental side agreements that accompanied NAFTA never should have been tacked on in the first place.

“It’s our position that trade agreements ought to be about trade,” Scribner told Bloomberg BNA.

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Scribner said the NAFTA labor side agreement is tantamount to “regulatory imperialism,” saying the U.S. “should be focused on reducing barriers to trade. Trying to force poor countries to behave like rich countries by fiat is protectionism disguised as do-gooderism.”

Read the full article at Bloomberg BNA.