The U.S. Automobile Workers (UAW) called for more effort to fix a trade deal between the United States, Canada and Mexico, after its officials met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer near Detroit on Tuesday.
Gary Jones, president of the UAW, which represents U.S. and Canadian auto workers, issued a statement following the meeting in Dearborn, in the state of Michigan, expressing the group's dissatisfaction with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Signed by the three nations on Nov. 30, the USMCA is a replacement for the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but still needs to be ratified by lawmakers of the three countries before going into effect. Lighthizer is a key architect of the USMCA.
Jones said in the statement that UAW members "continue to advocate for a 'New' NAFTA that will be a good deal for working people by lifting wages in the United States and creating more good jobs."
"While some progress has been made, it is clear from current auto company investments abroad, that more work needs to be done to make this agreement enforceable and meaningful to our members and their job security," he said.
"We urge the Administration and Congress to finally create a trade agreement that provides working Americans the job security future they deserve," the statement added.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly called the NAFTA deal a "disaster" and made rewriting the 1994 pact a key presidential campaign pledge in 2016.
The USMCA, if implemented, will raise the requirement for North American content in cars to a 75 percent from 62.5 percent. It also requires at least 40 percent of car production to come from factories with an average wage of 16 U.S. dollars per hour, which could put Mexico, a low-cost production hub, at a disadvantage.
Several auto interest groups in the United States, such as the Association of Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission days before the USMCA was signed, all claiming that the new agreement will hurt the U.S. auto industry.