Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Friday signaled her support for President Donald Trump’s United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), breaking from Democrat primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Warren told CBS Boston:
Workers have had the legs taken out from underneath them and this agreement makes improvements. It’s gonna help open up some markets for farmers, they need that stability. It’s gonna help with enforceable labor standards and that’s gonna be useful. We really need trade negotiations going forward that make sure anyone who wants access to our markets is actually helping us in the fight against climate change and helping build an economy that works for everybody in the US.
Warren’s supportive comments come after Sanders expressed opposition to the deal, stating, “a renegotiated NAFTA must stop the outsourcing of U.S. jobs, end the destructive race to the bottom, protect the environment, and lower the outrageously high price of prescription drugs. Clearly, Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 does not meet these standards.”
On December 19, the House approved the agreement 358-41, following more than a year of talks with White House officials. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure after the impeachment trial.
The USMCA keeps much of the North American Free Trade Agreement in place but adds considerations for digital trade, requires 75 percent of vehicle parts to be made in one of the three countries to remain tariff-free and 45 percent of car components be made by factory workers earning $16 per hour.
It also increases U.S. farmers’ access to the Canadian dairy market and protects digital trade across borders.
President Donald Trump signed the original version of the trade deal with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then-Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in November of 2018, calling it the “largest, most significant, modern and balanced trade agreement in history.”
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer lauded the agreement’s passage, saying it is expected to create up to 589,000 U.S. jobs and create additional economic growth.
“House passage of the USMCA with such huge bipartisan support is a major milestone and shows just how much President Trump is successfully changing U.S. trade policy so it works for the benefit of American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses,” Lighthizer said. “The USMCA is expected to create between 176,000 and 589,000 new American jobs and substantially increase economic growth. The International Trade Commission’s analysis shows that USMCA will have a more positive impact on our economy, jobs, and wages than any other U.S. trade agreement ever negotiated.”
The UPI contributed to this report.