Senator Stabenow Announces Support for USMCA

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today released the following statement announcing her support for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, Stabenow worked closely with other Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to modify the agreement proposed by President Trump to include strong labor and trade protections that are good for Michigan.


“In Michigan, we make things and grow things. And, with any trade agreement, it is critical that we are exporting our products, not our jobs.


“Unfortunately, since NAFTA was signed, our country has lost too many good-paying manufacturing jobs to Mexico. No other state has felt the pain of those losses more than Michigan. NAFTA created a race to the bottom with jobs going to companies paying the lowest wages and countries with the lowest standard of living. And workers have had no way to change that.


“Almost two years ago when renegotiations began, the Trump Administration refused to include strong protections for Michigan workers. My Democratic colleagues and I held strong and secured changes in the agreement that now include strong enforcement tools. Without these strong provisions, this agreement would have just been NAFTA all over again with all of its flaws.


“As with any agreement, new enforcement tools are only effective if they are actually used. Even after passage of this agreement, I intend to continue my strong focus on tough trade enforcement in this country.


“This trade agreement is also important for Michigan farmers who need a level playing field and markets to sell their crops. This agreement will help open markets for Michigan’s wheat, poultry, and dairy farmers.


“Enforcement tools in this agreement are also important for farmers. For example, I led the effort to open up Canadian markets to our Michigan milk producers. We secured new, hard-fought changes to end Canada's ‘Class 7’ milk pricing scheme that allowed Canada to manipulate the price of milk and lower demand for U.S. milk exports. But as with any improvement, we will have to monitor the implementation closely and take strong enforcement action when needed.


“It’s also important to note what this agreement does not include.


“Republicans have refused to stop the loss of jobs to countries like Mexico and China by opposing the passage of my Bring Jobs Home Act. This act would close tax loopholes that reward companies that offshore American jobs and cut taxes for companies that bring jobs home. Republicans have also refused to address the growing pension crisis affecting so many workers in Michigan and across our country.


“Because of hard fought changes by Democrats that include strong trade enforcement tools that are good for Michigan, I intend to vote for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Going forward, I will continue to make sure these tools are used to protect American jobs.”