International Brotherhood of Teamsters president James P. Hoffa praised President Donald J. Trump’s move to crush the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) once and for all on Monday, the second major labor union leader to do so.
Hoffa — like AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka who also praised Trump on Monday without naming him — also praised President Trump’s efforts to work with Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as well.
Unline Trumka, however, Hoffa showed he’s willing to name Trump in his release. Hoffa said in a statement:
Today, President Trump made good on his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. With this decision, the president has taken the first step toward fixing 30 years of bad trade policies that have cost working Americans millions of good-paying jobs. The Teamsters Union has been on the frontline of the fight to stop destructive trade deals like the TPP, China PNTR, CAFTA and NAFTA for decades. Millions of working men and women saw their jobs leave the country as free trade policies undermined our manufacturing industry. We hope that President Trump’s meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Jan. 31 opens a real dialogue about fixing the flawed NAFTA. We take this development as a positive sign that President Trump will continue to fulfill his campaign promises in regard to trade policy reform and instruct the USTR to negotiate future agreements that protect American workers and industry.
Jonathan Swan of Axios, one of the top journalists covering the Trump administration, noted after the AFL-CIO statement that this could be the beginning of Trump stealing a broad and crucial part of the Democrats’ electoral coalition: union workers. Swan wrote on Monday:
The Trump-Trumka relationship will be one of the more interesting in American politics over the first term of the new administration. Trump and top advisers like Steve Bannon see an opportunity to destroy traditional political alliances. Their theory worked in the election: They peeled white working class voters (and many union households) away from the Democrats. Now, they believe that delivering major items for this constituency — watch also for a confrontation with Big Pharma — could further wreck the Democrats’ hold on organized labor.
But, Swan offered a word of “caution” on this front as well: “If Trump pursues more traditional Republican policies — like slashing taxes and regulations and repealing and replacing ObamaCare — he could quickly undo much of his goodwill with unions.”
Sources close to the president, however, confirm to Breitbart News that the president plans to approach these issues and others not from traditional partisan perspectives but from a more pragmatic problem-solving angle, something likely to keep appealing to union workers nationwide in key states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — all key states that Trump won in his shocker landslide 306 electoral vote victory over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.