Commentary: Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) released the following statement after the signing of a replacement NAFTA agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada at the G20 summit:
“Today’s signing comes after two years of pointless uncertainty and reckless threats to NAFTA from the Trump administration, which raised roadblocks to investment and economic progress across New Mexico. This new deal — the full extent of which has not been released — will require approval in the next Congress. Time and again, the Trump administration’s hostile and counterproductive approach to relations with Mexico has revealed a misguided understanding of our southern border, and our friends and partners on the other side. As a result, I owe it to New Mexicans to apply the highest level of scrutiny to this agreement to make sure that our border communities won’t suffer the consequences of the administration’s flawed negotiations. As a senator who represents a border state, I will examine this proposed agreement carefully and work to ensure that it actually benefits New Mexico’s workers, environment, and border communities as part of a healthy bilateral relationship with Mexico.
“New Mexico shares both a border and a strong relationship with Mexico – our most important trading partner and a crucial export market – that creates thousands of jobs for New Mexicans. Our prosperity is inextricably linked to this partnership, especially in our thriving border economy, which is a bright spot for our state. I’m committed to strengthening this vital relationship, and fighting for necessary protections for worker’s rights and environmental standards that will benefit New Mexico.“
“Trade agreements can create a raw deal for working families, allowing big corporations to benefit off the backs of workers while skirting environmental rules, and 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. These details are critically important for New Mexico families, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to implement improvements to this deal that ensure border states and communities continue to thrive while safeguarding our environment and creating strong, enforceable protections for workers. Otherwise, this whole process will have caused chaos and disruption for no benefit.”