Sen. Portman Praises Updated USMCA While Sen. Brown Remains Skeptical

Dec 11, 2019

Sen. Sherrod Brown says he needs to take a closer look at the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement before making a decision.

The USMCA updates the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. Democratic politicians from manufacturing areas, like Brown, criticized that trade deal, arguing it killed jobs in the U.S. by encouraging factories to move south of the border and ship products back duty-free.

While President Trump and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are on board, Brown isn't as certain.

“It's gotta work for workers because this administration betrayed workers virtually every time,” Brown says. “And they tried to enact NAFTA and we wouldn't let them. So if the language is as good as people tell me it is, I would like to support it.”

According to NPR, "Democrats endorsed the trade deal after winning stronger enforcement of labor and environmental provisions, and stripping a measure that would have locked in long-term patent protection for certain pharmaceutical products."

On CNBC’s Squawk Box, Sen. Rob Portman said that USMCA updates and improves upon NAFTA.

“This is a trade-opening agreement so it's good for us, it's good for Ohio jobs, farmers love it, manufacturers love it, it's going to be good for auto workers in the United States. There's a lot of positive things about it,” Portman said on Wednesday morning. “This is a good thing for our country.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the vote on the trade deal will likely take place after an expected impeachment trial in the Senate.