Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

“For more than 20 years, NAFTA has benefitted corporations and the ultra-wealthy in the United States, but has cost jobs, made middle-class American families poorer, and hollowed out large segments of a once vibrant Midwest economy. While the negotiators of this secret agreement claim it fixes at least some of those problems, many details remain to be resolved before we can be assured that workers and their families will be better off under NAFTA 2.0. We do however, know that health care consumers stand to lose.

“This deal reflects Big PhRMA’s #1 priority to raise prescription drug costs in the U.S. and abroad. It would extend pharmaceutical corporations’ monopoly power even longer, handing Big PhRMA billions and leaving patients and taxpayers to pay the bill. President Trump promised to lower prescription drugs, but this deal makes it harder for lower-priced alternatives to enter the market. Not only does this deal fail to protect Americans from the unchecked power of pharmaceutical corporations, it hands them the tools to spike prescription drug prices even higher. In fact, it could tie the hands of Congress and prevent us from taking effective measures to make drug prices more affordable.

“There is a long way to go to earn my support. Any new deal must put working families first by ensuring the American people have access to affordably-priced prescription drugs, protecting workers’ rights, raising wages, protecting the environment, and bolstering U.S. entrepreneurs. Above all, any new deal must include robust enforcement mechanisms. A lot remains to be done before we can be assured that this agreement meets those standards.”