3 June, 1999The union has warned the Clinton Administration that it will oppose any World Trade Organisation accession agreement with China.
USA: In a press statement issued by the IMF-affiliated International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the union has warned the Clinton Administration that it will oppose any World Trade Organisation accession agreement with China which does not provide for the recognition and effective enforcement of internationally recognised labour standards and other human rights. Among other things, the IAM will also oppose any accession agreement which does not effectively eliminate China's use of performance requirements, including its demand for the transfer of technology and/or production in return for market access. IAM President R. Thomas Buffenbarger said that "internationally recognised and enforced labour standards and other fundamental human rights should be a responsibility of any country desiring the benefits of admission to the WTO." Citing numerous examples of human rights violations in China, the IAM president noted that "the universal adherence to these standards is not only a moral and ethical issue, it is also an economic issue that goes to the heart of the world's trade policies." In a letter to President Clinton, Buffenbarger also warned that the increasing use of offsets - the transfer of technology and production to other countries, such as China - should be addressed once and for all by a strong, comprehensive U.S. policy.