Boston (January 14, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and co-author of the Green New Deal, released the following statement after voting against committee passage of the USMCA.
“Since NAFTA went into effect in January 1994 – 26 years ago – every year of a young person’s life has been warmer than the 20th century average,” said Senator Markey. “We have just lived through the hottest decade in recorded history. We are seeing the dramatic effects of the climate crisis every day, with floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and rising seas all worsening as we fail to act. We cannot afford another 26 days, let alone years, of business as usual, where fossil fuel companies get to play by their own rules.
“Despite this climate emergency, the USMCA trade deal fails to even mention climate change – the most important issue of our time. It has no climate or environmental standards, which will mire progress on this generational challenge. The trade deal includes explicit giveaways for the fossil fuel industry, making it cheaper to export dirty tar sands oil and continues giving the gas industry carte blanche to export American gas to Mexico. It also gives polluters new power over the policymaking process while continuing old rules that allow fossil fuel companies like Chevron and ExxonMobil to file suit in secret tribunals against climate or environmental policies.
“The USMCA is a trade deal that will hinder progress on climate action for a generation. This is a profound environmental and climate failure.
“I commend the efforts of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Ranking Members Ron Wyden and Sherrod Brown, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka who fought hard to make sure the horrible agreement negotiated by President Trump became much better. The mechanisms they were able to include to hold Mexico accountable are critically important for ensuring new labor standards and protections in that country.
“But we can no longer negotiate trade deals using the same framework of the past,” concluded Senator Markey. “Trade deals must reflect the urgency of our time and implement the strategic vision necessary for our planet’s survival.”