**Download Production Quality Footage of Brown’s Floor Remarks Ahead of Passage, HERE**
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, applauded Senate passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act (USMCA). 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, which is now headed to the President’s desk for final signature.
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. “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.
“Thanks to Senator Brown, someone who has spent his congressional career understanding how international trade works and speaking up and fighting to include workers’ rights, we now have a trade deal in USMCA that we can support. We were only able to get this deal across the finish line and get to yes because organized Labor and leaders like Senator Brown said no deal, however good the text may be, unless the labor provisions are clearly written and enforceable,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka thanked Wyden and Brown “for standing strong with us throughout this process as we demanded a truly enforceable agreement.”
United Steelworkers (USW) Union President Tom Conway praised the deal: “[t]he updated draft agreement now has enforcement provisions [for worker’s rights] that can help make a difference. There is still a great deal of work to do in terms of implementing, monitoring and enforcing the provisions, but the base for progress is there.”
USW also recognized Brown and Wyden for their “efforts and refusal to back down in the face of massive special interest lobbying,” alongside other Democratic congressional leaders in negotiating updates to NAFTA.
In addition to labor organizations, Ohio agriculture groups are also supporting the deal, including the Ohio Farm Bureau.
"The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement secures our valuable trade partnership with our nearest neighbors and sets the stage for new deals that will level the playing field for farmers in the global marketplace. We appreciate Sen. Brown’s leadership on bipartisan support of USMCA to build on those trade relationships in several key areas important to Ohio farmers,” said Frank Burkett III, President of Ohio Farm Bureau.