Booker Statement on Voting Against USMCA


January 16, 2020


Ryan Johnson, ryan_johnson

Booker Statement on Voting Against USMCA

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) issued the below statement following passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act (USMCA):

“When evaluating the USMCA, it was important to consider our country’s economic realities and to weigh how much benefit American workers could receive from the increased exports and expanded commerce that this trade agreement could bring. It has always been important me that trade agreements prioritize New Jersey’s ability to compete in the global economy and while 25 years of NAFTA has brought increased economic activity and cooperation with our closest allies, it has also compounded economic issues at home that have led to increased income inequality, stagnant wages, and corporate consolidation. For the majority of Americans across the country, and New Jerseyans back home, this agreement fails to deliver on the promise of greater economic opportunity for workers and their families through an improved NAFTA.

“The renegotiation of NAFTA presented a once in a generation opportunity to work with Canada and Mexico to take bold action to address critical issues such as job loss, low wages, environmental degradation, and our most urgent crisis – climate change. Some may say these goals – negotiating trade agreements and expanding protections for American families – should be treated separately. But to me, they are inseparable. USMCA does not meaningfully address any of these issues: jobs will continue to be outsourced, the environment will continue to be under attack, and middle class and working families will continue to be left behind.

“I applaud the efforts of Speaker Pelosi, Senate Democrats, and labor union leaders for negotiating a better deal than the one proposed by President Trump nearly two years ago, a deal that removed the most egregious corporate giveaways while including stronger – and historic – labor provisions. However, it fails to tackle our most pressing environmental challenges. Climate change is not even mentioned in USMCA, and upon reflection I cannot support a trade deal that does nothing to address this existential threat. USMCA also doesn’t include measures to reduce air and water pollution, and continues to allow corporate polluters to sue and block climate and environmental protections.

"While there are some modest improvements in USMCA for farmers who have been hurt by this administration’s lack of strategy on trade, overall it falls far short. For instance, the absence of Country of Origin Labeling provisions means that multinational meatpackers will continue to pass their imported meat off as American, further eroding fair competition and preventing shoppers from supporting local family farmers and ranchers.

“Workers and climate change must be at the heart of every trade deal, and USMCA simply fails that test.”