NAFTA Deal Is Unacceptable Template for the Future

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have passed a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Despite some improvements, the revised NAFTA deal is a far cry from the type of transformative trade policy that should serve as a template for new trade agreements moving forward.  The entire progressive coalition that has been working on this issue stands committed to continue working together for better policies in the future.

A year ago, the Trump administration offered a weak, worse-than-the-original NAFTA proposal that was wholly unacceptable.  It was rigged for Big Pharma in order to lock in high medicine prices, and it failed to make the changes needed to stop outsourcing, raise wages, protect worker rights, defend family farms and safeguard the environment.

If not for the relentless efforts of activists and civil society, the Trump administration would have happily enacted a NAFTA 2.0 that would have handcuffed Congress’ ability to lower prescription drug prices.  Despite progress on this and other issues, considerable work remains moving forward related to jobs, climate and the environment, food safety and other consumer protections, agriculture and more.

Of particular note, the Trump administration’s claim that the NAFTA deal will bring back hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs is completely untrue and unfounded.  The new pact is not designed to do so.  Further, as the President’s tax policies continue to incentivize outsourcing, the manufacturing sector is now in technical recession.

Working people at home and abroad deserve trade policies that prioritize the creation of a more just and sustainable global economy.  We will continue pushing for a new model of trade that delivers fully on this fundamental goal.