On Labor Day, President Trump called out one of the country’s top labor leaders, Richard Trumka, with an accusation that he and “his Dems” didn’t do enough to oppose the “terrible” North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
His comments on the AFL-CIO president followed an appearance by Trumka on “Fox News Sunday”
“Just watched AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on @FoxNews and thought to myself how different he is on TV than he is when he is with me at the White House. Likes what we are doing until the cameras go on. We got robbed on Trade and everything else while his Dems just sat back and watched,” Mr. Trump tweeted.
He added, “NAFTA is the worst Trade Deal ever made – terrible for labor – and Richard let it stand. No wonder unions are losing so much. The workers will vote for me in 2020 (lowest unemployment, most jobs ever), and should stop paying exorbitant $Dues, not worth it! ” Mr. Trump continued to quote segments airing on Fox News for much of Labor Day morning.
NAFTA, the trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, has been in place since 1994 and will remain so until the new deal signed by the president, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), is ratified.
In the past, Trumka praised the president’s move to end the longstanding trade agreement, but he has since disparaged USMCA as “falling short of what we need.” USMCA has not yet been ratified by lawmakers, but the White House hopes to send legislation to Congress this month.
In his appearance on Fox, Trumka argued that USMCA isn’t enforceable, telling the outlet, “An unenforceable trade agreement is a windfall for corporations and a disaster for workers.”
In response to the president’s tweets, the AFL-CIO said in a statement to CBS News: “We’ve been clear on what working people want, in private and in public. It’s our job to tell the president what he needs to hear—not what he wants to hear.”
The president’s tweets came as the Southeast braces for potential impact of Hurricane Dorian which has already ripped through the Bahamas, bringing catastrophic winds and rain.
Mr. Trump had originally planned to be in Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II, but late last week he canceled the trip, sending Vice President Pence in his place, so that he could be in the U.S. to keep an eye on the gathering storm.
Meanwhile, as the president was spotted taking in a round of golf at his Sterling, Virginia course, the Trump re-election campaign unveiled its labor day commemoration plans by taking their thanks to America’s workforce to the skies.
The Trump campaign will employ aerial advertising in five locations around the nation to reach beachgoers at peak times of the day on Monday. The locations include Detroit, MI; Cleveland, OH; Milwaukee, WI; Erie, PA; and Virginia Beach, VA — all notably battleground states for the 2020 election.
“Labor Day is the perfect time to thank American workers for everything they do for our country,” said Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director in a statement.
“Under President Trump’s policies, the economy is strong and growing, and more Americans are working than ever before. The American economy is the envy of the world and our American workers are the best on the planet.”
Funny thing is, Trump’s USMCA is NAFTA with a few tweeks on the margins, and the shift from NAFTA to USCMA should not impact the three countries dramatically. Only certain industries will be affected, and only by a small amount.