May 19, 2017

New Democrat Coalition Chair and Trade Taskforce Co-Chairs Statement on NAFTA Renegotiation Letter

New Democrat Coalition Chair Jim Himes (CT-04) and New Dem Trade Taskforce Co-Chairs Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Gregory Meeks (NY-05) issued the following statement in response to the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) notification to Congress on its intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

“We look forward to working with USTR on updating NAFTA.  New Democrats support a strong rules-based trade system and see the value global engagement brings to the United States. We agree with the administration that improvements can be made to NAFTA.  Making sure that trade agreements include strong, enforceable environmental and labor provisions is a priority for the New Democrats.  We are glad to see that the administration intends to follow the guidelines set forth in Trade Promotion Authority that many of our Members worked to negotiate with President Obama two years ago; these negotiations and guidelines led to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which was not perfect but set the standard for a 21st century agreement.  While President Trump rants about TPP and withdrew the US from the agreement, he seems to be embracing many of the agreement’s principles and chapters and trying to work them into NAFTA renegotiations.   TPP recognized the importance of having chapters on labor, IP, digital trades, environment, state owned enterprises, agriculture and expanded market access in the agreement and we look forward to working with USTR to make sure these are included in NAFTA renegotiations as well.”