FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2020
Contact: Hannah Packman, 202.554.1600
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today voted 89-10 in favor of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), moving the trilateral deal to President Donald Trump’s desk for final approval.
Though National Farmers Union (NFU) initially withheld endorsement when USMCA was introduced over a year ago, the organization’s board voted to support it after the U.S. House of Representatives made several improvements. NFU President Roger Johnson applauded the agreement’s passage and urged future improvements to American trade policy:
“For 25 years, National Farmers Union has stood in staunch opposition to the disastrous free trade framework established by NAFTA. By prioritizing the interests of corporations over those of working-class Americans, this framework is largely responsible for our massive trade deficit, the rapid exportation of domestic jobs, the decline of wages, and the deterioration of our national sovereignty.
“Though USMCA is not a perfect replacement, it does make some important changes to its predecessor. We are particularly encouraged by the inclusion of stronger labor standards, more robust enforcement mechanisms, and better environmental protections. On top of that, we are pleased to see the partial elimination of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arbitration procedure, which is the source of many of our aforementioned grievances against NAFTA.
“That being said, there is still significant room for improvement. This trade deal still doesn’t restore commonsense Country-of-Origin-Labeling, nor does it address import dumping. With that in mind, we urge Congress and the Trump administration to continue working to strengthen trade deals so they better support the success of family farmers and rural communities.”
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.