Today, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) voted in favor of passing the revised United States--Mexico--Canada Agreement (USMCA) through the House of Representatives. Wild was a leader throughout the renegotiation process, helping to secure transformational changes from the original draft of the trade agreement to prioritize American workers.
"For the past 6 months, I have worked to secure a North American trade agreement that puts our workers, our businesses, and our families first," Wild said. "When I led 27 of my colleagues in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer, I made renegotiation of provisions that would have locked in high drug costs and harmed our workers my priority and demanded these issues be taken seriously. Now, the American people have won. This deal can't be added to the pile of bills collecting dust on the Senate Majority Leader's desk -- it deserves to be taken up and passed swiftly by the Senate."
In June, Wild, a member of the New Democrat Coalition and the House Committee on Education and Labor led 27 freshman House Democrats in a letter sent to U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer in which the lawmakers called for negotiations to be re-opened so changes could be made to strengthen labor standards and environmental terms and protect consumers from excessive increases in drug prices. Throughout the negotiation process, Wild met with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, with Mexican Ambassador Barcena, and Counsel General to Prime Minister Trudeau, Phyllis Yaffe, as well as dozens of labor and business leaders.
After months of active negotiations between Wild and these key leaders, the monopoly provisions for big pharmaceutical companies were removed from the USMCA and a new provision was added to allow cheaper generics to come to market and encourage competition to drive down drug costs. Additionally, provisions were added to the agreement to reduce the incentive of companies outsourcing American jobs to Mexico. With these improvements secured by Wild, the ALF-CIO and United Steelworkers have endorsed the USMCA.
Specifically, Wild helped secure improvements to the USMCA which:
Lowers Prescription Drug Costs by removing a provision with big giveaways to pharmaceutical companies and changing the rules to promote fair competition and patients' access to affordable medicines.
Protects American Workers by strengthening labor standards to make them enforceable by creating new mechanisms to monitor labor rule compliance in Mexico. These provisions establish a new enforcement mechanism that will lead to penalties on imports produced at a facility where workers' right to organize has been thwarted.
Enforces Labor Standards by fixing loopholes that allowed countries to avoid being held accountable and introducing new rules to make enforcement more effective and fair.
Protects the Environment by reinstating high-standard rules that had been watered down by the administration's original trade agreement proposal and creating new mechanisms to monitor environmental rule compliance in Mexico.