Washington, D.C. – On January 7th, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) voted in the Senate Finance Committee to advance the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to the full Senate for a vote. The 25-3 vote in favor of the agreement was bipartisan. The Senator praised the trade deal for its ability to both protect workers and provide economic stability to businesses.
At the Finance Committee hearing, Senator Cortez Masto spoke about the importance of this legislation to Nevada’s economy—and the nation’s.
Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Wyden, Ambassador Lighthizer, I want to begin by thanking you and your staff for all of the good work, and the literally tireless work, that you have done to negotiate a bipartisan agreement that begins to provide certainty to our businesses here at home in Nevada.
Trade is one of the top concerns I hear from Nevadans.
During my time in the Senate, I have heard directly from around 100 business owners in all 17 counties in my state, including the dairy industry, that say they need stability.
Nevada exports over $1.8 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico, which creates thousands of American jobs in my home state.
And Nevadans need a fair trade deal that protects workers and provides businesses of all sizes the ability to plan so that they can grow.
Nevadans are concerned with tariffs, market access, a trade war with China, and this USMCA agreement.
Here in Washington, I believe we have been making some progress in a bipartisan way to improve and modernize some of these trade agreements.
However, I remain concerned that the President and his policymaking by tweet undercut the effective bipartisan work that is being done. It impacts markets and the ability of Nevada businesses to plan for the future.
And Nevada’s workers should have peace of mind that their jobs won’t be threatened by erratic policymaking in Washington.
During this process, I made it very clear I supported the incorporation of the Wyden-Brown proposal, and I want to thank my colleagues, Senator Wyden and Senator Brown, for fighting to incorporate this proposal into the trade agreement.
I am thankful we were able to come to a bipartisan compromise and include important labor protections and enforcement provisions.
I am proud of Nevada’s strong tradition of organized labor.
That is why I understand how important it is to protect and fight for unions, to strengthen their bargaining rights, so that working families can organize for safer workplaces and better wages.
I vowed to fight to ensure workers’ rights are protected in any trade deal. Because labor was at the table when these deals were negotiated, we were able to come to an acceptable agreement.
I’m also pleased to see in this trade deal that the dairy industry in Nevada will benefit as well.
I acknowledge that this deal is not perfect. It alone will not solve outsourcing and economic inequality.
I know our friends in the environmental community have concerns about this agreement falling short on addressing the climate crisis. I share their sentiment that this Administration has repeatedly failed to address or acknowledge the climate crisis.
That is just one of the reasons why I will continue to fight for real investment in renewable energy technologies and the protection of our precious natural resources and the environment.
These concerns need to continue to be addressed, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to address these concerns.
Overall, I am pleased to be able to support this bipartisan trade agreement today. Thank you.