More Trump Foolishness: Trump Reaches Out to AFL-CIO for NAFTA Talks

Trump ignored business leaders and instead reached out to the AFL-CIO for advice on NAFTA and his infrastructure package

President Donald Trump sought input Wednesday from the largest labor unions in the U.S. on trade policy, including the talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mr. Trump met at the White House with Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO labor federation, and the presidents of the Teamsters, the United Auto Workers, the United Steelworkers, the Communications Workers of America and the International Association of Machinists.

The union leaders described the meeting as “very productive,” in a joint statement. “Labor is united in its view that NAFTA is a disaster for working people and must be fixed,” the statement said. “Real solutions for any new trade deal must dramatically improve workers’ rights and raise wages and living standards in all three countries.”

Mr. Trump has said he would walk away from trade deals, including NAFTA, that didn’t benefit American workers.

Labor unions traditionally support Democratic politicians, and Mr. Trumka has leveled sharp criticism at the Republican president in the past year. But the White House has sought to win labor-union support on other priorities, including a legislative package on infrastructure.

More Trump Foolishness

I suppose this could be a ploy, but recent Trump tariff actions suggest this is more Trump trade foolishness guaranteed to backfire.

Instead of inviting the AFL-CIO, Trump should listen to Rand Paul regarding right-to-work.

The country does not need more unions. It desperately needs to get rid of public unions. The place to start would be national right-to-work laws, coupled with an end of Davis Bacon and all prevailing wage laws.

Make Deficits Great Again

Getting the AFL-CIO backing for infrastructure is a guaranteed way to have projects cost more and take longer to deliver, at taxpayer expense.

Trump does not understand trade deficits. The "art of the deal" cannot work when you don't understand essential points.

To understand the math, please see Trump's Tariffs Show He's "Clueless About Trade".

The US is on a path to economic ruin, and Trump refuses to change course.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

I don't trust Trump but it is ridiculous to blame the unions which have been declining all these decades. There is a direct correlation and cause-effect relationship between union membership and shared prosperity.

Try find a similar period graph, plotting the share of the population (or labor force) that is a member of a public sector union. Or better yet, the share of total labor compensation (including benefits) going to public unionistas. Those are the unions Mish, and most other current “union critics” rail against.

As our graph demonstrates, unions in the private sector hasn’t been a significant force for a long time. And neither do they operate under some a priori assumption that the government should force other people’s children into labor camps, to pay for “promises” made before said children were even born.

Meh, Donny isn’t doing anything Nixon wouldn’t do. Nor FDR, for that matter.

Prevailing Wage laws will suck out any economic benefit derived from .gov boondoggle infrastructure schemes. Just another wealth transfer from taxpayers to “Friends” of government.

Mish -- What is it with you & President Trump? On many issues, you are worth listening to very carefully. But let President Trump's name be mentioned anywhere in a story, and you switch from Dr, Jekell to Mr. Hyde. Seriously, what harm can come from talking -- just talking -- to Union leaders about NAFTA? Certainly, union members have skin in the game; it is their jobs who have been exported due to the giant sucking sound of NAFTA, as Ross Perot warned all those years ago. Remember that NAFTA is not "Free Trade", because free trade does not need a n agreement which is over 1,000 pages long. NAFTA is "Managed Trade" -- and Ross Perot point that the deal was very badly managed by the then-US negotiators has been proven beyond doubt by events.

A graph illustrating the percentage of household income spent on higher education, housing, and healthcare starting from 1970 would be more instructional about the decline of “shared prosperity”. Increasing union membership would only increase the prosperity of those members at the expense of those who weren’t in on the scheme (i.e., the majority of Americans); whereas, forcing the aforementioned industries to compete in a fair market would increase the wealth of all Americans at the expense of the elite few who have benefitted from the tilted playing field.

It’s good politics reaching out to the unions, a traditional Democrat stronghold, especially on issue in which the have common ground.

"Increasing union membership would only increase the prosperity of those members at the expense of those who weren’t in on the scheme (i.e., the majority of Americans)" Bingo - Trump dead wrong on trade - but it helped win him the election

Donald Trump talking and perceived as protecting the working man. Democrats are now the party of the 1%ers, destruction of their white blue collar roots and for letting millionaires keep their insane tax deductions.

Public unions vs private are two different issues. Public unions requires massive and ever growing government and give near 100% to democrats.

Democrats are really the party of whoever wants good pay for little to no work. Academia, government, inner city welfare recipients, etc... . I think the main difference between inner city welfare recipients and rural is the rural recipients generally want to find a job, but there are none. The inner city ones have no interest in working. Of course there are exceptions. Just a general observation.

LOL. More silly theories that don't stand the slightest of scrutiny. The decline of unions hasn't raised the wages of non-union workers, has it? In fact, the wages of others have also decreased.

Here are Reasons Why You Should Thank a Union
All Breaks at Work, including your Lunch Breaks
Paid Vacation
Sick Leave
Social Security
Minimum Wage
Civil Rights Act/Title VII (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)
8-Hour Work Day
Overtime Pay
Child Labor Laws
Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
40 Hour Work Week
Worker's Compensation (Worker's Comp)
Unemployment Insurance
Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations
Employer Health Care Insurance
Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees
Wrongful Termination Laws
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Whistleblower Protection Laws
Employee Polygraph Protect Act (Prohibits Employer from using a lie detector test on an employee)
Veteran's Employment and Training Services (VETS)
Compensation increases and Evaluations (Raises)
Sexual Harassment Laws
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Holiday Pay
Employer Dental, Life, and Vision Insurance
Privacy Rights
Pregnancy and Parental Leave
Military Leave
The Right to Strike
Public Education for Children
Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 (Requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work)
Laws Ending Sweatshops in the United States

Just in case you’re too confused to notice: Virtually every single item on your list, does nothing but add more laws. More regulations. More bans. More avenues for ambulance chasers to rob and harass people. More, bigger government. More interference in the lives of others, by the usual leeching suspects. More “need” for anyone productive, to fork over to pointless Insurance companies and lawyers, to “defend” themselves agains crass robbery ambulance chasers on the make.

But you really do believe that cutting all of the above, utterly non productive leeches, in on whatever value is created by working people, is somehow going to make said working people better off, don’t you? I reckon you would be equally enthusiastic about making sure anyone who hires a worker, also should be forced by the thug army to pay 50% of said workers salary to the nice man in Nigeria who will make everyone a King if only you do so…. After all, doing so would make every worker a king and all…..

In case YOU haven't noticed, many of those items are under attack and have been eroded to a greater or lesser extent over the last 40+ years. And "coincidentally" (yeah, right!) the lot of the average American working class person has taken a turn for the worse as well.

Mish was a teenager in St. Louis who lost a job at the local A&P to a union worker and has had a hard-on for unions ever since. Mish get over your teenage angst and grow up.

Mish will criticize stupidity, whether it is Trump, Obama, or anyone else. He is certainly correct regarding Trump’s trade positions. Trump’s protectionist trade policies will harm far more US workers than it will help. He risks starting a trade war which will really hurt economic growth. He thinks he can bring back jobs that were automated out of existence 30 years ago. He just doesn’t get it.

The American worker has gotten more productive over the past 40 years. (At least typical manufacturing workers.) IOW, he creates more value now, than he did back then. Since he is not seeing any of that increase in real terms, someone else is quite obviously seeing it. As its not disappearing into thin air.

The proper thing to look for, then, is who has gotten all this increased value add? Who has seen massive gains over the past 40 years? And specifically, who has seen gains over and above what they themselves has produced? Go searching for that, and you’ll find that the gainers have been specifically those who has benefitted from the pumping up of asset prices since Nixon went off gold.

Those in banking and other FIRE “industries”(more like rackets…), obviously. But also those in law, as higher asset prices has made squabbling over who “owns the right” to them, more lucrative than doing productive work. And Government, which has grown like a weed since then. As well as “asset owners.” Heck, if workers kept what they added in value, half of America wouldn’t sit around wasting otherwise productive time and resources on reading anything as positively inane as “investment blogs.” Instead, they’d be doing work, as that would be the way to create some value they could keep themselves.

Every penny the above guys have made (minus whatever little value is being added by what they are doing), must come from somewhere. It didn’t just grow on the back of freshly printed dollar bills. Instead, it has been produced. By workers. Then, via debasement, mandates, regulations, laws and litigation, it has been taken from the workers who produced it, and handed to the above debasement and regulation theft beneficiaries.

That is why workers have suffered. Not because there aren’t enough laws and lawyers “looking out for helpless little them.” But rather, because much of what they have produced, have been stolen from them. And handed to some idle, non productive yahoo, in the form of “home price appreciation,” and the rest of the pathologies that has been part and parcel of America, and every other country following a similar path, in the Fed/Central Banking era.