January 14, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Tuesday released a statement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) after voting against the deal in the Senate Budget Committee:
“It is the duty of the United States Congress to ensure that our nation’s trade policies lift up workers, grow the economy, and protect public health and our environment. Trade agreements can open up new markets to American products and forge new alliances with foreign countries. They can also lead to job losses, depressed wages, and environmental degradation. Living in a state with the largest and most diverse economy in the nation, Californians have seen both the good and the bad up close. My responsibility as their senator is to listen to their concerns and learn from the mistakes of past trade deals.
“I recognize the hard work of negotiators in Congress and organized labor, especially Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the AFL-CIO, that dramatically improved the USMCA from the one negotiated by the Trump administration.
“However, after careful study and consultation with environmental and conservation leaders, I have concluded that the USMCA’s environmental provisions are insufficient—and by not addressing climate change, the USMCA fails to meet the crises of this moment. Californians know that the climate crisis is already here. Communities across our state have experienced exacerbated fires, storms, floods, and drought, and the devastation will only get worse if we fail to take bold and immediate action to address it. This agreement will set the standards for decades, and I believe Californians and all Americans deserve better and more immediate action. For these reasons, I oppose this deal.”
Senator Harris has fought for climate and environmental justice throughout her career. As San Francisco District Attorney, she established an environmental justice unit to help the city’s most vulnerable communities. As California Attorney General, she fought to protect California’s tough environmental laws and prosecuted big oil and other industries that continue to pollute our air and water.
As a United States Senator, Harris has led legislation that seeks justice for communities at the front lines of the climate crisis and environmental racism:
- Her Climate Equity Act would hold the government accountable for ensuring that frontline communities have a seat at the table and centering any future policy that impacts the climate or environment around equity and justice.
- Her Water Justice Act is a comprehensive plan to improve the safety, affordability, and sustainability of drinking water for low-income and environmentally at-risk communities.
- Her Clean School Bus Act would electrify the nation’s school bus fleet, targeting federal investments to millions of students from low-income communities who breathe polluted air every day during their commute to school.
- Her Wildfire Defense Act would help communities holistically defend themselves from the growing threat of wildfires, exacerbated by climate change.
- Her Living Shorelines Act would help communities along our coasts protect themselves from rising seas and higher floods.
- Her Outdoors for All Act would create outdoor greenspaces in underserved urban communities, providing recreational opportunity and a community gathering space while simultaneously cleaning local air pollution and combatting the urban heat effect.
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