The Real Meaning of Obama’s Trade Defeat

by Robert Kuttner,  The American Prospect

The labor movement won big in the defeat of the trade package Friday. But a lot of the commentators are somewhat mystified. 

After all, the labor movement is a smaller fraction of the workforce than it was when NAFTA was approved over labor’s opposition in 1993. And the industrial workforce today is a much smaller percentage of the total. How could this have happened?

Noam Scheiber, writing (an excellent piece) in The New York Times, quotes a puzzled John Murphy, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which suffered a big loss when the trade deal went down. Murphy wondered why service sector unions were part of the opposition. “None of these workers are in any way negatively affected by competition with imports,” said he. “Yet SEIU will be there, showing solidarity.”   Read the entire story

 

 

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