Former UAW President Supports Trump's NAFTA Overhaul, Less Enthusiastic About the Man

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
former uaw president supports trump s nafta overhaul less enthusiastic about the man

The former president of the United Automobile Workers, Bob King, says he supports President Trump’s plan to reconfigure the North American Free Trade Agreement — so long as it maintains labor’s best interests. Ironically, King’s support of the president’s trade plan came as he attended an Ann Arbor rally in support of an EPA testing facility in danger of being closed due to Trump administration budget cuts.

King, who served as the union’s president from 2010 to 2014, faults the trade pact for a loss of American jobs. It’s his belief that NAFTA allowed automakers to invest in more-affordable regions — like Mexico — at the expensive of the United States’ workforce. His successor, Dennis Williams, has echoed these claims and also wishes to see NAFTA reformed.

While the two union leaders may support the overhaul, King is a little less enthusiastic about the man behind it. He was, after all, attending a Democrat-led rally against one of the president’s core initiatives.

“Workers have to be protected, our economy has to be protected, and the environment has to be protected,” King told Automotive News on Monday. “NAFTA didn’t do that. If renegotiates NAFTA to do all that, great. I’m skeptical, because everything I’ve seen him do so far is to take care of the wealthy, not to take care of the workers or the environment.”

He then went on to accuse the president of taking unearned credit for auto jobs and investments created as a result of collective bargaining. Trump has indicated domestic automakers added jobs as a result of his hardline “America First” stance, but King says the majority of those positions were tied into company promises made as part of a 2015 contract with the UAW.

“Him taking credit for jobs isn’t real,” King said. “The reality is that they were bargained. Dennis Williams did an amazing job last time getting additional commitments for jobs in this country and billions of dollars invested in cities in America.”

The ex-union boss believes there an overriding frustration within the UAW over how policies have been handled by both parties. King says a history of lackluster trade deals and broken promises encouraged Michigan, a historically blue state, to vote Republican in the last election. “He got less votes than Romney, less votes than McCain and he’s still president,” King said of Trump. “I think there’s an important lesson for Democrats: working people want to see results. They’ve seen their lives get worse and worse, not better and better.”

[Image: World Economic Forum/ Wikimedia Commons ( CC BY-SA 2.0)]

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 09, 2017

    F*** you Bob, and f*** Dennis too. Get behind President Kushner, otherwise you're an antisemitic terrorist who hates freedom. Then there's this: "The juicy version is the Canadian version. Kushner came begging! White House staff called the Prime Minister’s Office last month to urge Justin Trudeau to persuade President Donald Trump not to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to multiple Canadian government sources. The unconventional diplomatic manoeuvre — approaching the head of a foreign government to influence your own boss — proved decisive, as Trump thereafter abandoned his threat to pull out of NAFTA unilaterally, citing the arguments made by Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto as pivotal…"

    • See 4 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on May 10, 2017

      @28-Cars-Later "Are you not entertained?" It would be nice if someone pointed out to #emptypotus the fact that running the USA isn't reality TV and secondly, reality TV isn't reality. Oh and I agree, Heath Ledger’s Joker would be a better choice. At least the Joker had a plan and was willing to follow through with it.

  • Kendahl Kendahl on May 09, 2017

    Keeping all auto manufacturing jobs in the US would have made new vehicles more expensive and reduced sales. That would have been enough to push all three domestic manufacturers into bankruptcy. Going to Mexico cost some American jobs. Not going would have cost many more.

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    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on May 10, 2017

      @shaker "As a lady once sung: “These are the good old days”." Last year she was singing, "Happy Days Are Here Again!......"

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂