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Sen. Sherrod Brown Publicly Backs USMCA For First Time

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks at a Culinary Union hall Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Las Vegas.
John Locher
Associated Press

After months of negotiation, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) on Friday announced his support for the new North American trade deal, also known as the U.S. Mexico Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). It’s the first time Brown has publicly thrown his support behind a trade deal.

Brown worked with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to add a pro-worker provision to the USMCA. Wyden said the provision will help enforce labor standards to prevent offshoring of jobs. 

“The Brown-Wyden anti-offshoring provision is a worker-empowering, corporation-scaring enforcement innovation that amounts to the strongest-ever labor enforcement in a U.S. trade deal, and that’s why this will be the first trade agreement I’ve ever voted for,” Brown wrote in a press release.

The provision will also protect the rights of Mexican workers, which Wyden said will prevent a “race to the bottom,” and level the playing field for workers across the country.

Brown says he wants the anti-offshoring provision to be included in every trade agreement moving forward.  He called the agreement an important step in establishing a trade policy that works for workers, but he said there's still room for improvement.

“We have a lot more work to do to make hard work pay off, and one trade agreement alone will not fix President Trump’s economic policies that put corporations over workers,” Brown continued.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has already come out in favor of the USMCA, which has the backing of U.S. House leaders and President Trump.

David Williams is an intern at WKSU for summer 2019. A junior at Kent State, Williams is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism. Williams has reported for The Kent Stater, the university’s student-run newspaper, since spring 2018. His interests include history and politics.