Dem Rep. Gomez: House Democrats Turned USMCA Into ‘a Real Agreement with Teeth’

During Friday’s Democratic Weekly Address, Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) stated that Democrats turned the original USMCA trade deal “into a real agreement with teeth.”

Transcript as Follows: 

“Hi, I’m Congressman Jimmy Gomez.

I’m proud to represent California’s 34th Congressional District, in the heart of Los Angeles.

As we approach 2020, it’s important to take a look back at this past year with the Democratic Majority.

We stood up for our Constitution and held President Trump accountable for abusing the power of his office and obstructing Congress to cover it up.

We also passed nearly 300 bipartisan bills, including: the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act — our transformational legislation to negotiate lower drug prices so millions of Americans can afford the life-saving medicine they need.

The Equality Act: legislation to extend civil rights protections to our LGBTQ family, friends and neighbors.

The Paycheck Fairness Act: legislation reaffirming the basic idea, equal pay for equal work.

The Climate Action Now Act: an urgently-needed bill, which aims to keep the United States in the Paris Climate Agreement.

And the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA for short: a historic trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

This last legislative victory was not easy, and it was far from guaranteed. In late spring, Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed nine Democratic Members – including myself – to negotiate with the U.S. Trade Representative to make significant changes to the Administration’s version of USMCA, a version many people referred to as NAFTA-lite.

As a former labor organizer, I knew we had the opportunity to finally begin to right the wrongs of NAFTA.

After six months of negotiations, meetings, phone calls, proposals and counter-proposals, the USMCA Working Group – under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi – brokered a new agreement that not only recognized the value of America’s workers, but also secured measurable and profound progress in the areas of enforcement, prescription drugs and environmental protection.

This unprecedented trade agreement was made possible through the fortitude and resolve of the trade working group and the House Democratic Caucus.

We refused to compromise our values. And ultimately, we turned President Donald Trump’s original trade deal – considered weak in almost every measure – into a real agreement with teeth.

That’s why the AFL-CIO – a federation of labor unions representing over 12.5 million workers – for the first time in almost 20 years, endorsed a trade agreement.

That’s why the USMCA passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support: 385 to 41.

This new and improved USMCA is a victory for the American people.

And, as an advocate for working families, I am encouraged that this new deal sets the floor — not the ceiling – for future trade agreements.

The new consensus on trade was only made possible because of the new Democratic House Majority.

As we enter 2020, House Democrats will continue to deliver results For The People.

And, with that, I would like to thank you and wish you and your family and your loved ones a happy and healthy new year!”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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