Congressman Cohen Votes for U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

December 19, 2019
Press Release
Applauds commitment to enforcing labor rules and stronger environmental protections

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today voted for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that modernizes the trade arrangements between the three countries by updating and improving provisions of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). USMCA was made significantly stronger than the text that the President originally presented thanks to months of tireless work by Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Neal and the USMCA Working Group. The agreement assures that more car and truck parts will be made in America and that much of the work will be done by employees making more than $16 an hour. It requires Mexico to change its labor laws to make it easier for workers to unionize and includes enforceable labor standards for the first time. It deals more fairly with restrictive prescription drug patents. USMCA also advances environmental protection of marine wildlife from pollution and overfishing.   


The vote on passage was 385 to 41. 


Congressman Cohen made the following statement: 


“I’m proud to be able to get to ‘yes’ on this important, bipartisan bill, which is good for FedEx, manufacturing and Memphis. USMCA is a major improvement over NAFTA, particularly in its labor and pharmaceutical provisions. We will need to monitor compliance, especially with its environmental provisions, which are an improvement from NAFTA but could be stronger.”