December 13, 2019

New Democrat Coalition Endorses Updated USMCA

Today, the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) announced its endorsement of the recently updated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) following the December 10th agreement incorporating the improvements negotiated by House Democrats. The NDC has long supported modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to reflect the 21st century economy and other advances the United States has made in trade policy.

The updated USMCA makes critical improvements to a 25-year-old trade agreement, building off of the progress made by the Obama administration. The updated agreement and many of the 21st century economy provisions in USMCA represent a paradigm shift in U.S. trade agreements and should serve as a template for bipartisan consensus in future agreements.

The updated USMCA:

  • Creates certainty in the North American market and between the United States and its two largest trading partners in the wake of destabilizing trade action by this administration
  • Closes enforcement loopholes and streamlines the dispute settlement system, bolstering the strength of the underlying rules in each chapter
  • Significantly increases labor standards and makes them more enforceable by establishing an enhanced, rapid-response labor enforcement system to ensure partners live up to the agreement
  • Creates a digital trade chapter to allow more American goods and services to reach Mexican and Canadian markets, building a roadmap for future agreements
  • Expands agricultural market access, particularly in dairy markets, and improves sanitary and phytosanitary standards
  • Includes strong environmental standards and protections that are fully enforceable

Additional details on the initial USMCA can be found on the USTR website section on USMCA and the changes Democrats secured in the USMCA can be found in the House Ways & Means Committee summary and the protocol of amendment to the USMCA.

Since its founding, the Coalition has been integral to the congressional consideration of every major trade initiative. The progress made on the updated USMCA agreement comes after continuing NDC support of the Working Group efforts and the release of NDC-endorsed NAFTA 2.0 priorities.