Trump hates NAFTA, but his new trade deal isn’t much different.
“The good news is that finally NAFTA was renegotiated,” Representative Mark Pocan explained. “The bad news is that the NAFTA 2,0 deal that Donald Trump signed last year doesn’t [do] nearly enough to stop job outsourcing and race-to-the-bottom wages.”
The 1944 NAFTA deal removed trade barriers between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, lowering the price of consumer goods, but also contributing to U.S. job losses and income inequality.
“By turning middle-class American jobs into sweatshop jobs, by outsourcing them to Mexico, bi corporations have used NFTA to pay workers less and, even those who haven’t seen their jobs outsourced have still been impacted by NAFTA, since the agreement resulted in few good jobs across our country, driving down wages from everyone,” Representative Pramilia Jayapal stated.
Trump has since struck a fresh trade deal and given it a new name — The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It has some additional protections for labor and the environment, but critics are skeptical of their effectiveness. Jayapal says the regulations are “toothless” and the deal gives special monopoly protections for Big Pharma, designed to block generic competition.
The new NAFTA needs Congress to ratify it to take effect, and Pocan says they need to fight to get the Big Pharma giveaways out, and strengthen the promise of improved labor and environmental standards.
“If you insist that the loophole for big oil get shut out and the Big Pharma giveaways get eliminated, you can help ensure people through North America have clean environment and affordable medicine,” he said.