January 16, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) issued the following statement after voting in favor of the New NAFTA in the Senate:
“Too often, free trade agreements have favored corporate interests over protections for workers and the environment. When Donald Trump unveiled his replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement, this dynamic continued.
“After Democrats won a majority in the House, this agreement changed substantially. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, working alongside labor allies like Senators Sherrod Brown and Ron Wyden, negotiated significant and meaningful changes that will help millions of American workers who suffered for over two decades under NAFTA.
“At the same time, this agreement does not go far enough to combat the climate crisis. Climate change is an urgent threat, and confronting it requires aggressive action. The urgency of climate change is acknowledged in the Green New Deal, which I support.
“While the New NAFTA bolsters some environmental protections, it doesn’t go far enough. At the same time, nothing stops Congress from taking bold and immediate action to combat climate change, other than the Republican Party’s allegiance to the fossil fuel industry.
“I am under no delusions that this is a perfect deal, but I support the New NAFTA because American workers need relief now.
“We’ve learned over the years that trade agreements require constant and vigilant oversight. Unlike past agreements, this legislation codifies and provides funding for enforcement.
“While there are shortcomings in this deal, the progress it makes right now for American working families makes it worth supporting – recognizing that negotiating for stronger environmental protections and enforcement should not stop with the vote on this agreement.”
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