18:28 GMT24 September 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), must benefit middle-class families in the United States in order to receive majority support in Congress, a Democrat Chuck Schumer said.

    "For the new trade agreement to receive a majority support in Congress, including from members like myself, who have long opposed NAFTA and demanded improvements — it must prove to be a net benefit to middle-class families and working people in our country and must have strong labor and environmental protections, which in the present deal are too weak," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a news release on Friday.

    Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said the new agreement should protect US dairy farmers and include real enforcement of new and tough labour provisions.

    READ MORE: Trudeau Urges Trump to Remove Tariffs on Canadian Steel, Aluminum Ahead of G20

    "The deal must also raise wages and should recognize that climate change is a grave threat to our countries' economies and the health and safety of our citizens," he added.

    The agreement must be ratified by the legislatures or parliament in each of the countries in order to take effect.

    US Senator Sanders to Strongly Oppose Trump's 'NAFTA 2.0'

    However, some of the US officials opposed the deal. In particular, US Senator Bernie Sanders in a statement on Friday said that he will strongly oppose the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in its current version because it will not stop the outsourcing of American jobs or protect the environment.

    "In my view, a re-negotiated NAFTA must stop the outsourcing of US jobs, end the destructive race to the bottom, protect the environment, and lower the outrageously high price of prescription drugs," Sanders said. "Clearly, Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 does not meet these standards and I will strongly oppose it in its current form."

    Sanders added that unless strong enforcement mechanisms are included in the agreement, a corporation will continue to ship US jobs to Mexico where workers are paid as little as $2 an hour.

    "Further, this deal includes some outrageous giveaways to the fossil fuel industry and big pharmaceutical companies that will harm the environment and increase prices for life-saving prescription drugs," Sanders said.

    The officials' comments come after earlier on Friday, US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed the USMCA during a ceremony in Argentina ahead of the start of the G20 Summit.

    The USMCA covers such areas as tariffs, automobile industry, the intellectual property rights, labour standards, environmental protection and agriculture and would replace NAFTA.


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    United States, trade, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), NAFTA, G20 summit, Democrats, Chuck Schumer, Donald Trump, Mexico, Canada
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