Why Workers Need an Industrial Policy Not Tariffs

Peter Knowlton, General President of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE), explains that Trump’s proposed tariffs are not an effective strategy for reviving American manufacturing jobs. Rather, workers need trade and industrial policies based on international cooperation, respect for workers’ rights, and environmental sustainability that would raise living standards across industries and across borders through investment in infrastructure, jobs and social programs.  UE wants an industrial policy that would promote the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and create millions of sustainable and good-paying union jobs. UE is concerned that Trump's threat to Canada and Mexico that their “exemption” is conditional on the positions they take during the NAFTA negotiations is really about resisting proposals to improve labor rights and conditions in both Mexico and the US, to level the playing field between the three nations, and blunt the ability of corporations to exploit workers and communities.