News Report: Currency on the Table in the U.S.-China Trade Talks

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

The U.S.-China trade talks continue. There’s a deadline coming up on March 1, when the trade-war timeout is due to end, and U.S. tariffs are to shoot up from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese products.

President Trump, meanwhile, is starting to float the idea that March 1 isn’t a hard date … which suggests there’s progress being made toward a larger deal. It could also be problematic; the president’s chief negotiator, for instance, doesn’t think giving up this key piece of leverage is a great idea.

But! Another bit of news has leaked out: The two sides are working out an agreement that would govern currency manipulation. Bloomberg reports:

The U.S. is asking China to keep the value of the yuan stable as part of trade negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, a move aimed at neutralizing any effort by Beijing to devalue its currency to counter American tariffs, people familiar with the ongoing talks said.

Currency manipulation has been an American trade complaint against China for years, and some have argued that a deal that doesn’t include a currency rule will ultimately prove to be a disappointment.

Well, it looks like it's still on the table. So I guess it's just like the most talkative president in decades says:

"We are asking for everything that anyone has ever suggested. These are not just 'let's sell corn or let's do this' – it's going to be selling corn but a lot of it – a lot more than anyone thought possible."

 

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Uber Drivers Deserve Legal Rights and Protections

By Kathleen Mackey
USW Intern

In an advisory memo released May 14, the U.S. labor board general counsel’s office stated that Uber drivers are not employees for the purposes of federal labor laws.

Their stance holds that workers for companies like Uber are not included in federal protections for workplace organizing activities, which means the labor board is effectively denying Uber drivers the benefits of forming or joining unions.

Simply stating that Uber drivers are just gig workers does not suddenly undo the unjust working conditions that all workers potentially face, such as wage theft, dangerous working conditions and  job insecurity. These challenges are ever-present, only now Uber drivers are facing them without the protection or resources they deserve. 

The labor board’s May statement even seems to contradict an Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that couriers for Postmates, a job very similar to Uber drivers’, are legal employees.

However, the Department of Labor has now stated that such gig workers are simply independent contractors, meaning that they are not entitled to minimum wages or overtime pay.

While being unable to unionize limits these workers’ ability to fight for improved pay and working conditions, independent contractors can still make strides forward by organizing, explained executive director of New York Taxi Workers Alliance Bhairavi Desai.

“We can’t depend solely on the law or the courts to stop worker exploitation. We can only rely on the steadfast militancy of workers who are rising up everywhere,” Desai said in a statement. 

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