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Bernie Says Trump's NAFTA Replacement Is Better but Promises He Won't Support It

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders admitted Thursday that President Donald Trump’s proposed replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement is an “improvement” over the current situation, but still pledged not to support it.

Sanders’ comments came during the Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles.

The Vermont senator noted that he voted against NAFTA, a deal Trump opposed and which the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement would replace.

Sanders said he does not think the USMCA would be a “great job creator.”

“This is a modest improvement over what we have right now. It would allow, hopefully, Mexican workers to organize into unions,” Sanders said.

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“But at the end of the day, in my view, it is not going to stop outsourcing. It is not going to stop corporations from moving to Mexico where manufacturing workers make less than $2 an hour.”

“What we need is a trade policy that stands up for workers, stands up for farmers and by the way, the word ‘climate change,’ to the best of my knowledge, is not discussed in this new NAFTA agreement at all.”

“So no, I will not be voting for this agreement, although it makes some modest improvements,” he concluded.

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The House voted Thursday, one day after it impeached Trump, to approve the USMCA.

“The trade pact is a revamped version of the 25-year-old North American Free Trade agreement (NAFTA), which encouraged trade among the three countries,” ABC News reported.

“President Donald Trump, though, blamed it for shipping manufacturing jobs to Mexico, where wages are lower, and promised voters a deal that would create a more even playing field,” the outlet added.

Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has praised the agreement.

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“This deal is much better than the original NAFTA — and infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration,” the California Democrat said this week.

Sanders, for his part, has opposed the USMCA for months.

“In my view, a re-negotiated NAFTA must stop the outsourcing of U.S. jobs, end the destructive race to the bottom, protect the environment, and lower the outrageously high price of prescription drugs,” he said in November 2018, according to The Hill.

The USMCA “does not meet these standards,” Sanders said at the time.

The act must be approved by legislatures in all of the countries it involves, and NAFTA will remain in place until then.

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Joe Setyon is a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who has spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon is deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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