Sanders to 'strongly oppose' Trump trade deal

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (I-Vt.) said Friday that he will "strongly oppose" President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE’s new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, arguing that as currently written it would continue to "ship U.S. jobs to Mexico." 

"In my view, a re-negotiated NAFTA must stop the outsourcing of U.S. jobs, end the destructive race to the bottom, protect the environment, and lower the outrageously high price of prescription drugs," Sanders said in a statement. 

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He said that the trade pact signed by Trump on Friday "does not meet these standards" and that he cannot support it. 

"Unless strong enforcement mechanisms are written into the text of this agreement, corporations will continue to ship U.S. jobs to Mexico where workers are paid as little as $2 an hour," Sanders added.

Sanders has been an outspoken critic of international trade agreements including using his 2016 presidential campaign to push the Democratic Party to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was negotiated under the Obama administration. 

He and a group of progressive Senate Democrats also sent a letter to Trump earlier this year urging him to "fundamentally rewrite" the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 

Trump during the 2016 campaign pointed to trade as one area where he and Sanders were "very similar." 

But Sanders panned the agreement on Friday, arguing it includes "some outrageous giveaways" to fossil fuel and pharmaceutical companies. 

"Before this deal is sent to Congress for a vote it must include strong enforcement mechanisms to increase jobs and wages and all of the riders that benefit big fossil fuel polluters and pharmaceutical companies must be taken out of it. Trade is a good thing — but it has got to be fair," Sanders said. 

Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the deal Friday at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires. If approved by Congress, it would replace NAFTA.

Congress must review and debate the legislation for a period of 30 days, giving the administration until later Friday to send paperwork to Capitol Hill if the agreement is to have any chance of receiving a vote before Democrats take control of the House in January.