Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, following successful negotiations by House Democrats to improve the agreement and secure strong enforceable labor standards, meaningful environmental protections, and eliminate giveaways to Big Pharma companies.
“From the manufacturing facilities and apple orchards in Frederick County to the Dulles Tech Corridor, trade is crucial to our district’s local economy,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “Thanks to the negotiations led by House Democrats, this agreement will deliver fairer trade rules and the strongest enforcement mechanisms of any U.S. trade agreement -- ensuring that Virginia businesses continue to thrive and Virginia’s workers are protected.”
Wexton discussed the ongoing trade negotiations with constituent businesses across her district since being sworn into office. Wexton also worked closely with her colleagues on the House Working Group on NAFTA Renegotiation and met with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and foreign ministers from Canada and Mexico to emphasize the importance of trade in her district and to advocate for priorities important to Virginia during the negotiations process. In 2018, Virginia exported $4.3 billion of goods to Canada and Mexico.
On December 10, Democratic House Leadership and the White House announced that, following months of negotiations, a deal was reached on a final agreement for a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The final USMCA includes victories on every provision that House Democrats fought for, including:
Enforcement: Prevents a trade cheating nation from blocking enforcement complaints and creates strong rules of evidence to improve litigation.
Labor: Stronger rules on labor commitments and enforcement, including new mechanisms for monitoring for compliance and a rapid-response enhanced labor-specific enforcement provision.
Environment: Establishment of high-standard protections against environmental violations along with new mechanisms and additional resources for regular monitoring and accountability.
Prescription drugs: Removal of provisions that contribute to high prescription drug prices and giveaways to Big Pharma companies, preserving the ability of Congress to improve access to life-saving medicines.
More information about the Democratic priorities secured in the USMCA agreement and the new standard this deal sets for U.S. trade can be found here.