WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement after United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress that the USMCA trade deal would take effect on July 1. Brown led efforts to improve President Trump’s proposed NAFTA update and secured important, worker-empowering provisions. Brown, acknowledging this is not a perfect deal, announced his support for the trade agreement last year after he worked with Sen. Wyden, Speaker Pelosi and the labor movement to get a better deal for American workers.
“It took us months of fighting alongside Speaker Pelosi, Senator Wyden, and unions to improve this deal, and secure our Brown-Wyden provision that amounts to the strongest-ever labor enforcement in a U.S. trade deal. Especially now, as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, we need the strong worker protections that Democrats secured to ensure the health and safety of workers who are working or will return to work soon. As USMCA takes effect later this year, we will be watching and holding the Administration and our trading partners accountable. I will always stand on the side of workers and will strongly fight back against anything less than strong enforcement of Brown-Wyden and other worker protections that keep workers healthy and safe.”
The Brown-Wyden Provisions that Brown helped secure will benefit workers by including the first-ever overhaul of labor enforcement standards in a trade agreement since the U.S. started negotiating trade deals. The new agreement will allow workers in Mexico to report when a company is violating their rights and seeing action within months if it’s determined that workers’ rights have been violated and apply punitive damages when corporations stop workers from organizing and stopping goods from coming into the U.S. if these anti-worker tactics continue.
Brown led the charge in the House of Representatives against NAFTA, forecasting the harm it would have on American workers and families. This is the first trade deal that Brown has voted for. Brown will continue pushing for trade and economic policies that value workers over corporations.