Kamala Harris says she wouldn't have voted for NAFTA

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJoe Biden faces an uncertain path Biden: 'There's an awful lot of really good Republicans out there' Fighter pilot vs. astronaut match-up in Arizona could determine control of Senate MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday she would not have voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Harris, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, made the comments on CNN's "State of the Union." She declined to weigh in on whether former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPossible GOP challenger says Trump doesn't doesn't deserve reelection, but would vote for him over Democrat Joe Biden faces an uncertain path The Memo: Trump pushes back amid signs of economic slowdown MORE, who supported the 1994 agreement, or Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJoe Biden faces an uncertain path Bernie Sanders vows to go to 'war with white nationalism and racism' as president Biden: 'There's an awful lot of really good Republicans out there' MORE (I-Vt.), who opposed it, were correct.

She added, “I would not have voted for NAFTA, because I believe we can do a better job to protect American workers.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“We need to do a better job in terms of thinking about the priorities that should be more apparent now than perhaps they were then, which are issues like the climate crisis and what we need to build into these trade agreements,” Harris told CNN, although she demurred on whether she disagreed with President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE that international trade agreements put the middle class at a disadvantage and favored corporations.

“There is no question that over many decades, the rules have been written in a way that have been to the exclusion of lifting up the middle class and working people in America,” the presidential candidate said, adding that her proposed reforms to the tax code aim to address these issues. She added that U.S. policies must “supply and equip the American worker with the skills and the resources that they need to thrive.”

Business groups have lobbied for the passage of Trump’s proposed replacement for NAFTA, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), although its passage in Congress remains uncertain. Trump signed the deal last November with a proposed six-month timeline for Congress to take it up. Democratic congressional leaders are pushing for the agreement to include stronger labor and environmental protections.