Kamala Harris says Trump was right on NAFTA and that she wouldn't have voted for the trade deal

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesDemocratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in a interview and question-and-answer session with leaders from historically black colleges and universities during a Thurgood Marshall College Fund event at the JW Marriott February 07, 2019 in Washington, DC
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate, said she wouldn’t have voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the 1993 law negotiated under President Bill Clinton.
  • “I would not have voted for NAFTA because I believe we can do a better job to protect American workers,” Harris said during a CNN interview on Sunday.
  • The issue has already divided 2020 Democrats some of whom, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, didn’t vote for or support NAFTA, while others, including former Vice President Joe Biden, did.
  • Trade policy will likely play a central role in the 2020 presidential election, as it did in 2016 when both Sanders and Trump ran against NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
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Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate, said she wouldn’t have voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), agreeing with both President Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders that the deal doesn’t do enough to protect American workers from foreign competition.

CNN host Jake Tapper asked Harris whether she agreed with Sanders’ vote against the landmark trade deal, or former Vice President Joe Biden’s vote against it.

“I would not have voted for NAFTA because I believe we can do a better job to protect American workers,” Harris told Tapper on “State of the Union,” adding, “I also believe that we need to do a better job in terms of thinking about the priorities that should be more apparent now, perhaps, than they were then, which are issues like the climate crisis and what we need to do to build into these trade agreements.”


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Trade policy will likely play a central role in the 2020 presidential election, as it did in 2016 when both Sanders and Trump ran against NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), forcing Hillary Clinton to move away from her support of the trade deals.

Sanders and a few other 2020 candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, have supported Trump’s push to renegotiate NAFTA, but want more stringent labour rights, consumer, and environmental protections than the administration does.

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