Pingree Statement on USMCA
Washington, December 19, 2019
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today released the following statement regarding the House of Representatives vote on the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA):
The last NAFTA upended Maine’s economy, causing our mills to shutter and thousands of good jobs to be outsourced. Though Democrats improved the deal originally handed to us by the Trump administration, this agreement ultimately does not do enough to keep Maine jobs from being sent abroad or to bring back more than 24,000 jobs Mainers lost because of NAFTA.
USMCA also ignores the reality of the climate crisis and does not hold global polluters to account. It’s foolishly shortsighted to not even mention the words ‘climate change’ in this major trade agreement. This omission will have major implications for Maine, which breathes the prevailing winds from the west and already has the highest rates of asthma in the nation. Our state is also grappling with the fastest warming waters in the world and rising sea levels. Without environmental protection in the agreement, the climate crisis will only accelerate and irreversibly damage Maine.
It's been two decades since the original NAFTA, and the new agreement will likely be in place for years. We were given an incredible opportunity to negotiate the significant issues in the original NAFTA and prioritize both people and the planet. Unfortunately, USCMA does neither. For the future of our workforce and environment, I will vote no.
Pingree was joined in opposing USMCA by several Maine stakeholders:
“NAFTA was a bad deal for Maine workers. While this new deal contains some improvements, it does nothing to prevent future outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and won’t effectively enforce labor standards, which is why we ultimately can’t support it.” –Mark Vigliotta, Maine Machinists Union Council President
“The new NAFTA fails to include even baseline environmental standards or to address climate change. It outsources jobs and pollution to Mexico and ignores the threat that climate change poses to the United States and to the world,” said Maureen Drouin, executive director of Maine Conservation Voters. “U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s vote shows once again her commitment to protecting U.S. workers, clean air and clean water, and is an example of strong political leadership on climate change. We can no longer tolerate trade agreements that let polluters off the hook or fail to address the climate crisis.” –Maureen Drouin, Maine Conservation Voters