Rep. Cisneros Votes in Favor of USMCA Trade Deal

December 19, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) voted in favor of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), which includes critical improvements secured by House Democrats. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico supports approximately 12 million U.S jobs.

“For decades, NAFTA has harmed workers and small business owners throughout the 39th District. With significant improvements secured by House Democrats, the new bipartisan USMCA will bolster the United States economy, create high-paying jobs, protect workers’ rights, strengthen environmental standards, and improve access to affordable prescription drugs,” said Rep. Cisneros. “This type of bold trade agreement is long overdue. I have heard from constituents and constituent owned businesses that this new USMCA will create a strong North American market for products designed and manufactured in the 39th District. When we support American workers and American small businesses, America succeeds.”

Democrats Secure Transformative Fixes to USMCA

After months of tough negotiating, Democrats secured landmark changes to the USMCA for American workers, delivering an agreement that is infinitely stronger than the first draft of USMCA the Administration had put forward. The new USMCA has the strongest enforcement mechanisms of any U.S. trade agreement, as well as critical victories for workers, lower prescription drug costs, and environmental protections:

  • Strongest Ever Enforcement: While the original USMCA draft would have allowed any nation to stop an enforcement complaint from being heard, the new draft prevents nations from “panel blocking” and creates strong rules of evidence to help the U.S. win more cases.
  • Landmark Worker Protections: The original USMCA draft stacked the deck against labor violation claims with weak monitoring and the requirement that violence against workers be “sustained or recurring” to trigger enforcement. The new draft enacts a new rapid-response enhanced labor protection to protect American workers. It provides for facility-based enforcement and establishes Labor Attachés to provide on-the-ground information about labor practices. It also creates stronger rules to protect workers from violence and prosecute labor violations, as well as tough new monitoring tools to ensure that Mexico is complying with its labor reforms.
  • Restored Environmental Protections: The original USMCA draft had weak environmental rules and stacked the deck against any environmental violation claim by requiring proof it impacted trade. The new draft recognizes the environment’s connection to trade and establishes Environment-Focused Attachés in Mexico City that will regularly monitor Mexico’s environment laws, regulations, and practices.  Additionally, the new draft includes a commitment that all Parties will adopt, implement, and maintain seven multilateral environment agreements, with the possibility of more to be added.
  • Lower Prescription Drug Prices:  The original USMCA contains unacceptable giveaways for Big Pharma that would have locked in high prescription drug prices for American seniors and families. The new draft eliminates these unfair hand-outs to big corporations, like decade-long market exclusivity for biologics, and secures provisions to lower drug costs and improve access to life-saving medicines.