Neal and Blumenauer Statements on ITC Report on Renegotiated NAFTA

Apr 18, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) issued the following statements after the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued its report on the likely impact of the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): 

Ways & Means Chairman Neal: 

“After an initial review of this analysis, it’s clear that the ITC sought to address certain Democratic concerns by expanding its economic modeling to new areas and undertaking a more nuanced approach to the agreement’s impact on workers across the continent. It’s also notable that the Commission consistently highlights the inclusion of enforcement provisions as the key factor in determining whether labor standards and rights will actually be strengthened in Mexico. 
“I will continue looking into this report – and any other reports from the Administration on the economic effects of the agreement – with my colleagues in the coming days and weeks. In particular, we must closely review analyses of the terms of the agreement relating to labor, environment, enforcement, and intellectual property, as I remain concerned that these portions of the renegotiated deal are not yet acceptable.”

Trade Subcommittee Chairman Blumenauer:

“Before the release of the ITC report, I believed that the renegotiated NAFTA, as written, needed to be improved before House consideration. Nothing in this report alleviates those concerns. The House requires stronger provisions on labor, the environment, access to medicine and enforcement. I will continue to work with the committee and Ambassador Lighthizer to address these shortcomings so we get this right.”

Yesterday, Neal, Blumenauer, and Committee Democrats sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert E. Lighthizer highlighting their concerns with the current environmental provisions in the NAFTA replacement. That letter followed a letter that Chairman Neal sent to the Ambassador on April 9 to bring the Ambassador’s attention to Committee Democrats’ main concerns as they consider the NAFTA replacement and an April 11 letter to the Ambassador that highlights Committee Democrats’ concerns with the new agreement’s labor provisions, specifically.