WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D- Md.), a senior member of the Senate committees on Finance, Foreign Relations and Environment & Public Works, as well as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Tuesday announced his support for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is intended to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Senate Finance Committee will consider the USMCA today and Senate consideration is expected soon after.
“Trade is an important issue I have worked on my entire career in Congress. I support free trade that strengthens good governance and protects workers and our environment. Since the passage in 1993 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), our economy has changed dramatically and, over time, we identified weaknesses in NAFTA that needed to be addressed. NAFTA was overdue for an update.
“The initial version of the USMCA had many important provisions. In particular, for the first time ever the agreement includes an entire chapter dedicated to anti-corruption, an initiative I have spearheaded since 2015. The agreement also included important market improvements for Maryland small businesses and farmers.
“But there were other areas that needed to be improved before the agreement could move forward. Democrats in Congress have worked hard to negotiate with the Administration and our North American trading partners to greatly improve the USMCA. Thanks to Democrats, the result is the strongest, fully enforceable, pro-environment, pro-labor trade agreement the United States has ever had.
“By enacting the USMCA, Maryland families, farmers, and small businesses will have a stable trading relationship with Canada and Mexico, fair level of competition, and better environmental and labor standards that will make North America and the world a better place. For these reasons, I am proud to support this agreement and look forward to its quick passage in the Senate.”