Kamala Harris says she wouldn't have voted for NAFTA

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Confused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers 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 BidenBiden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Biden calls for equal pay for US women's soccer team Yang: Standing next to Biden on debate stage would help boost name recognition MORE, who supported the 1994 agreement, or Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersConfused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers Confused by polls? Watch early primary states — not national numbers Biden leads in early voting states, followed by Warren, Sanders: poll 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 TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment 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.