U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has found it within his heart to support the USMCA trade agreement.
He tweeted a statement on the trade deal.
My statement on USMCA: pic.twitter.com/ndlrIrsyZj
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) December 13, 2019
“One of my proudest votes was against NAFTA, because I knew it would encourage multinational corporations to close factories in Ohio and offshore jobs to Mexico. The agreement President Trump negotiated wasn’t much better, and I have spent more than a year working to make it more pro-worker. We fought tooth and nail against the Administration, and with the support of Speaker Pelosi, Senator Wyden, and the union movement, we secured significant improvements for workers that President Trump’s initial agreement left out, namely stronger enforcement. The Brown-Wyden anti-offshoring provision is a worker-empowering, corporation-scaring enforcement innovation that amounts to the strongest-ever labor enforcement in a U.S. trade deal, and that’s why this will be the first trade agreement I’ve ever voted for. I’m always going to be straight with American workers – this is an important step toward a pro-worker trade policy, but it’s not a perfect agreement. We have a lot more work to do to make hard work pay off, and one trade agreement alone will not fix President Trump’s economic policies that put corporations over workers. We must build on the successes we achieved here and make sure Brown-Wyden is in every trade agreement going forward to protect American jobs.”
This marks the first time Brown has supported a trade agreement in more than 25 years in the House and Senate, The Columbus Dispatch reported, with him saying they were unfair to U.S. workers.
Brown said he insisted on “strong labor protection standards.” He also said the Senate will not consider the USMCA until after senators have conducted President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
A group of labor unions weighed in. Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, thanked Brown and and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) “for standing strong with us throughout this process as we demanded a truly enforceable agreement.”
Not all Ohio politicians have been reluctant to support the trade deal.
Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, supports the trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada and says it’s vital to Ohio’s economy, Battleground State News reported in October.
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement and attempt to incentivize the creation of more factory jobs in the U.S.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.