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Udall Votes for Updated US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

January 16, 2020

Bill to update NAFTA includes significant labor enforcement improvements negotiated by Democrats and will help put an end to disruptive and costly uncertainty that has hurt New Mexico’s economy

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) voted to pass legislation to implement the new NAFTA, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. He issued the following statement: 

“I am glad that Democrats have included significant improvements for workers to the weaker agreement that was negotiated by the Trump administration, and I hope today’s vote will put President Trump’s chaotic and harmful trade policies behind us—at least when it comes to our southern border. New Mexico’s growing border economy is a bright spot for our state, and I believe that, on balance, this agreement will benefit both U.S. workers and our thriving trade relationship with our neighbor Mexico. Democrats have also included important funding, $843 million for U.S.-Mexico border environmental improvements and enhancing port of entry infrastructure.

“I voted for this agreement in the hopes that it will move us past the chaos of the last 3 years on trade with Mexico, and I regret that the president’s reckless and slapdash trade policies and rhetoric toward Mexico have caused uncertainty forworking families and businesses at the border and across New Mexico and damaged bilateral relations. I also believe that, while this agreement includes improvements from Democrats that will enhance environmental enforcement, we mustmeaningfully address the existential threat of climate change – which is not just an environmental issue, but an economic one as well.

“I have been advocating for strong climate action throughout my time in Congress and I will continue to fight to return the United States to the Paris Agreement and for national policies that actually confront climate change and reach those goals. And I will continue to work on the Appropriations, Foreign Relations, and Commerce Committees to ensure that the federal government is doing everything it can to support New Mexico’s growing trade and border economy.” 

– In April 2017, Udall hosted business and community leaders in Santa Teresa, NM for a panel discussion about border economic issues, hearing their concerns about the administration’s trade policies causing uncertainty in our relationship with Mexico.
– In May 2017, Udall voted to confirm Robert Lighthizer as the United States Trade Representative after securing commitments that he would support businesses in New Mexico’s border region and oppose an adversarial or chaotic approach to updating NAFTA that undermines our critical trade relationship with Mexico.
– In February 2018, Udall met with the Border Industrial Association to discuss New Mexico’s important trade relationship with Mexico and the ongoing negotiations over NAFTA, reiterating that the final agreement must include strong enforcement.
– In November 2018, Udall released a statement upon signing of the Trump negotiated agreement, “based on what we know so far, this new deal offers little in the way of new protections for labor or the environment on either side of the border”. Subsequently, Democrats improved the agreement to provide better worker and environmental protections.
– This week, Senator Udall voted in favor of the Democrat-negotiated agreement in the Senate Committees on Commerce, Foreign Relations, and Appropriations.



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