No Trump-Xi Meeting Ahead of Tariff Truce Deadline

Cathalijne Adams

Cathalijne Adams Researcher/Writer, AAM

During his State of the Union speech this week, President Donald Trump declared that any new trade deal with China must include “real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs.” It looks like he meant it.

Trump said on Thursday that he does not plan to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping this month, withdrawing his earlier far more optimistic comment that he would indeed meet Xi before the March 2 conclusion of the tariff truce.  

This reversal suggests that Trump is disinclined to seek a quick and easy solution to trade negotiations and neglect the broader, more deeply embedded canker of U.S.-China trade talks – the Chinese government’s flagrant disregard for fair trade practices.

As Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul writes in RealClearPolitics:

“The Trump administration should be seeking measurable improvements to China’s industrial policies so that those policies don’t tacitly encourage economic espionage or serve as release valves for Beijing’s intentional industrial overcapacities. It should maintain those tariffs and a strict enforcement regimen to hold China’s attention.”

With news of Trump’s postponement of a meeting with Xi, there’s hope yet that the Trump administration remains attuned to the true goal of the trade negotiations when U.S. representatives meet with their Chinese counterparts in Beijing this week.

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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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A Friendly Reminder

A Friendly Reminder