The US congress has ratified the “new NAFTA” but Bernie Sanders says he would “immediately” renegotiate the USMCA trade if he won the presidency.
Bernie Sanders has said he would “immediately begin renegotiating” the new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada on his first day in office as president.
The potential 2020 Democratic nominee has long opposed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, aka USMCA, which President Trump signed into law Wednesday. Sanders is now unique among Democratic presidential contenders in doing so, claiming the revamped deal does not sufficiently address climate change or labor protections.
“The NAFTA 2.0 that Trump signed today is an absolute disaster,” Sanders said in a statement. “In addition to doing nothing to stop the offshoring of jobs, the deal is a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry at a time when climate change threatens our planet.”
Sanders argued that the USMCA, which resulted from three years of tense trade negotiations between the three countries, does nothing to prevent companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. from dumping waste and pollution in Mexico.
“It does not even mention the words ‘climate change,’ the most existential threat facing our planet,” Sanders said.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of Sanders’ principal rivals for the Democratic nomination, has also criticized the deal but in January, she announced she would vote for it. Her campaign insisted that revisions to the deal dropped a provision that would make it difficult to bring down prescription drug prices, and offered stronger guarantees on labor rights and more certainty for farmers.
Former Vice President and fellow potential nominee, Joe Biden, has also publicly backed the trade pact. “What I’ve seen change is that the vast majority of the labor movement supported it,” he told the media in December.
Since Dec. 10–when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she had struck a deal with the White House to pass the USMCA–the S&P 500 Index has risen by 4.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has improved by more than 3%.