Michigan democrats concerned about USMCA deal


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is inching closer to passing, some Michigan Democrats are skeptical this deal will deliver on its promise to bring back U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Leaders from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. have all agreed to the terms, but Michigan Democrats say they are concerned about USMCA.

“We pay the heavy price in the state of Michigan for bad trade deals of the past,” Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., said.

While the majority of lawmakers are calling the deal a win, concerned Michigan Democrats are still scarred from the economic damage of North American Free Trade Agreement.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that this is a first step,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said.

The amended deal was announced last week by House Democrats and the president and was signed by Mexico and Canada. It includes new, stricter labor rules that democrats say will help stop the flow of U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico and provide incentives for U.S. auto makers to use more U.S. made auto parts.

“Those major changes, now, will have to be evaluated and I’ll determine whether or not it’s enough to support it,” Kildee said.

Mexico has also agreed to give workers more power to unionize and has promised to allow U.S. officials to monitor enforcement of labor rules, which is stirring up controversy south of the border.

And now, one Mexico trade negotiator is pushing back on the agreement.

Mexico Deputy Foreign Minister Jesus Seade has had to defend the deal after Mexico was criticized for giving too much oversight power to the U.S., though both U.S. and Mexican officials say that should not derail the agreement.

Back in Washington, Dingell and Kildee say they’re unsure what to think.

“At this point in time, I’m going to have to look at the detail and make a judgment as to whether this is enough,” Kildee said.

The house could vote on the USMCA as early as this week.

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