Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer voted against the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Thursday, citing concerns that the trade deal doesn’t adequately address global warming.
“Despite the fact that it contains very good labor provisions, I am voting against USMCA because it doesn’t address climate change, the greatest threat facing the planet,” the New York senator said in a press statement addressing his vote. “The USMCA falls far too short.”
Schumer’s vote wasn’t necessary as it turns out. The Senate passed the deal by a margin of 89 to 10. The USMCA‘S supporters believe the bipartisan trade agreement could help America’s farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi helped hammer out provisions that made the deal more palatable for Democrats.
“It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration,” she said shortly after introducing articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. “It’s a victory for American workers, and it’s one that we take great pride in advancing.”
Schumer, for his part, acknowledged that the USMCA will provide some help to New York’s agricultural industry. “I also fought hard to make sure New York dairy producers would benefit from this deal, and will fight to ensure that those reforms are enforced.”
Climate activists are also criticizing the deal, which replaced a nearly three decade old North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. “They dropped the ball completely,” Natural Resources Defense Council representative Amanda Maxwell told The Washington Post in December. “This just returns us to an inadequate status quo.”
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