Merkley: Even With Rosy Assessment Methods, ITC Report Confirms NAFTA 2.0 Will Fail U.S. Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement regarding the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) report on President Trump’s proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiation:

“Over the years, ITC reports have produced notoriously optimistic assessments of proposed trade deals, few if any of which have been borne out by the reality once those trade deals were implemented. So it’s noteworthy that even by these rosy standards, the ITC predicts that Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 would barely budge the needle from the unacceptable status quo under NAFTA 1.0.

“NAFTA has been a disaster for American workers for a quarter of a century. We can’t just keep repeating our same failed trade strategies and hoping for a different result because President Trump slapped a new name on it. Trump’s proposed trade deal should be a non-starter without significant changes that ditch the giveaways to the pharmaceutical and fossil fuel industries and ensure strong, enforceable labor and environmental standards. Without those standards, any agreement will simply be a repeat of the original NAFTA, and will keep shipping American jobs and factories across our border to Mexico.

“If we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America. To achieve trade deals that actually create jobs, raise wages, and don’t just move manufacturing to the most exploitative places on the globe, we need a level playing field of minimum environmental and wage standards around the globe. That is why I will soon be introducing the Level the Playing Field in Global Trade Act of 2019—to create a new paradigm for fair trade that will finally benefit workers and lift up the middle class.”