**Download Production Quality Footage of Brown’s Hearing Remarks HERE**
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, applauded passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act (USMCA) by the Senate Finance Committee. Brown fought for and successfully secured important worker-empowering provisions as part of the agreement. President Trump’s initial draft of this agreement was more of the same – another pro-corporate trade deal that did very little to protect workers. As a result, Brown worked with Sen. Wyden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the labor movement to secure stronger labor protections and enforcement provisions. The House has already passed the initial implementation agreement, and the Senate is expected to pass final agreement in the coming weeks.
Brown, acknowledging this is not a perfect deal, announced his support for the trade agreement last month after he worked to get a better deal for American workers. The deal includes groundbreaking provisions that Brown authored and secured on behalf of workers. The new agreement will allow workers in Mexico to report when a company is violating their rights and see action within months if it is determined that workers’ rights have been violated. The U.S. can apply punitive damages when corporations stop workers from organizing and even stop goods from coming into the U.S. if anti-worker tactics continue and/or if companies are repeat offenders.
“We know why corporations move jobs overseas – they can pay lower wages and exploit workers. The only way to stop that race to the bottom is by raising labor standards in every country we trade with. That’s why Ranking Member Wyden and I authored a completely new way of holding corporations accountable, our Brown-Wyden worker protection provision. Brown-Wyden is the first improvement to enforcing the labor standards in our trade agreements since we’ve been negotiating them,” Brown said during the committee session today. “We still have more work to do to make our trade agreements more pro-worker, but I am voting ‘yes’ for the first time on a trade agreement because, by including Brown-Wyden, Democrats have made this agreement much more pro-worker and set an important precedent that Brown-Wyden must be included in every future trade agreement.”
A number of labor organizations have thanked Sens. Brown and Wyden for their efforts to secure these labor enforcement provisions in the deal.