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not enough

I'm proud of my record opposing every so-called "free trade" agreement. We were promised good-paying American jobs when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law, but those promises proved to be empty.

NAFTA has led to the loss of millions of American jobs over the past twenty-five years. The result has been the prioritization of profits over people, trampling of worker's rights, loss of consumer safety, and a degraded environment.

While Trump's US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) includes a number of improvements such as better regulation of cross-border trucking, I voted against it because it's not enough. It should have raised workplace standards, protected workers, protected consumers, and preserved the environment.

Trump's agreement will not bring back the hundreds of thousands of American jobs that were lost to Mexico. It does not ensure that workers are free from abuse. Mexico's system of wage and worker rights suppression are too deeply entrenched for this agreement to work.

Furthermore, it's clear to me that the USMCA will not address the existential threat of climate change in a meaningful manner. This agreement will continue to promote the pro-polluter, climate-denying policies of past trade agreements. It completely lacks substantive provisions to address air and water pollution and contains no environmental enforcement mechanisms.

So-called "free trade" is never free. There's always a price to be paid, and it's paid by working families in the form of stagnated wages, slashed benefits, declining hours, uncertain futures, and the destruction of our environment.

You can guarantee that I'll continue to push for robust oversight and enforcement of the USMCA's labor and environmental protections, and will lead the charge to make those protections much stronger. I will also continue to fight for a truly transformative agreement that sets a new standard for the 21st century: one that's focused on what's best for working people – not on what's best for the wealthy 1%.

Onward. Keep up the fight.


Posted on January 27, 2020.

As Independent as Oregon.

Peter DeFazio's common-sense proposals aim to create good-paying jobs, expand access to affordable health care and develop options outside of the for-profit marketplace, restore economic and educational opportunities, hold government accountable and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of hard-working Oregonians.

Meet Peter