November 30,2018

Press Contact:

Keith Chu (202) 224-4515

Wyden Statement on Signing of NAFTA Update

WASHINGTON—Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement on the signing today of an updated NAFTA agreement with Canada and Mexico:

“While there are elements of the revised NAFTA agreement that are clear improvements over the status quo and could set welcome new standards in international trade, I remain concerned about the enforceability of the president’s deal. Problems with enforcing trade agreements have done more to harm American workers and industry than any other trade policy failure in recent years. Over the coming months I will push to see that these concerns are addressed before Congress considers this proposal.” 


The state-to-state dispute settlement system that was incorporated into the original NAFTA is widely viewed as a failure since it enables a party to block the establishment of a panel of experts who would adjudicate NAFTA trade disputes.  More recent trade agreements, such as the U.S-Korea FTA and TPP incorporated a modern dispute settlement process that ensures that disputes could be adjudicated.  Unfortunately, the revised NAFTA sticks with the old NAFTA dispute settlement mechanism calling into serious question whether the new NAFTA obligations -- such as the provision of real labor rights in Mexico -- can ever be effectively enforced.