President Trump announced on Monday that the United States reached a trade deal with Mexico that replaces the previous North American Free Trade Agreement, also known as NAFTA. As the announcement took place, religious groups met with the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) on the agreement.
"While we still don't have full details on the agreement, we hope the new agreement ensures greater protections for vulnerable communities than previous trade agreements," noted Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte, who was at the USTR meeting. "We believe we've made some progress."
In May, major US religious groups wrote President Trump and Congress urging that trade agreements protect poor people in trade disputes and ensure access to life-saving drugs. The statement was issued by Jubilee USA and the Catholic, Episcopal, United Methodist, Presbyterian, Evangelical Lutheran and United Church of Christ Churches.
A final agreement has not been signed and would need to be approved by Congress. Canada may also join the negotiations on a final or separate agreement.
Read the statement NAFTA and International Public Health: An Interfaith Call for Access to Medicines