A Message From Teamster's General President James P. Hoffa

Obama's support for fair trade would help U.S. workers

Sen. Barack Obama is the only presidential candidate who can right the destructive wrongs of the past eight years.

Looking at Obama's record on trade issues and issues dear to working families - such as his commitment to passing the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) - the choice was clear for the Teamsters Union.

I've had several candid conversations with Obama. There's no doubt in my mind that he has a genuine concern about not only our country's trade policies, but about the hardworking men and women whose livelihoods and families are affected by them.

Every bit of the Democratic primary fight between Obama and Hillary Clinton, and every bit of the general election, will be an uphill battle to show people how important it is for the United States to have trade policies that take American workers into account.

Obama has long said NAFTA was oversold since its inception, and will work with Canadian and Mexican leaders to fix it so it's fair for American workers.

Obama understands that America needs fair trade policies that will create a level playing field with our trading partners. He understands that the corporate race to the bottom has had a devastating impact on our economy and our communities. Obama also understands that the trade policies of the Bush administration have done nothing to raise the standards of workers globally.

Labor will work closely with Obama to achieve a better balance - to keep good jobs in America and raise wages, establish benefits and improve working conditions abroad. He has consistently stood firm against agreements that would undermine our nation's economic security.

But Obama realizes that the misguided trade policies of the Bush administration are not the only problems.

As president, Obama will pressure the World Trade organization to stop countries from continuing unfair government subsidies to foreign exporters and nontariff barriers on U.S. exports.

Trade, of course, is not the only reason why we have endorsed Obama. He understands what working people are going through. He will fight for an improved health care system, retirement security and good jobs. He will join us in our commitment to rebuild our nation's transportation infrastructure and will make appointments that make sense-people who will protect workers.

A President Obama will ensure our toys and food are safe, the Environmental Protection Agency actually protects the environment and the Department of Labor enforces worker safety laws and wage and hour laws.



James P. Hoffa
General President


© 2008 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen