Sarbanes Statement on Vote for New NAFTA Agreement

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) released the following statement today after voting for the re-negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

“The new NAFTA agreement I supported today makes several improvements to both the original NAFTA agreement signed in 1994 and the preliminary agreement put forward by the Trump Administration last year.

“Importantly, the new NAFTA agreement negotiated by House Democrats strips away many of the special-interest provisions pushed by Big Pharma and large corporations – giveaways that were largely embraced by the Trump Administration and that were core elements of past trade agreements that harmed American workers and consumers.

“The agreement we passed today strengthens oversight and enforcement mechanisms, improves labor standards and prevents pharmaceutical companies from abusing the trade pact to lock in high prescription drug prices.

“However, despite the many improvements made by House Democrats, the new NAFTA agreement falls short in a number of areas. It fails to set strong standards to address the climate crisis and expand consumer protections. It could also provide better labor protections for hardworking Americans to ensure that fewer jobs get shipped overseas.

“While it’s an improvement on the status quo, the agreement we passed today does not serve as a template for future trade agreements. Instead, it serves as a baseline to build future trade accords that ensure all American workers and consumers enjoy the strongest possible protections and that enforce the robust environmental standards needed to counteract the climate crisis.”