Submitted by the Office of Rep. Schakowsky
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip, a Senior Member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and a member of Speaker Pelosi’s U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) working group, released the following statement after House Democrats successfully negotiated an improved USMCA:
“The Trump Administration sent us a deeply flawed trade deal that would have raised the price of prescription drugs across North America by locking in high drug prices and expanding big pharma’s monopoly. President Trump tried to tuck in a big corporate gift to Big Pharma in USCMA: 10 years of market exclusivity for biologics. On the first day of our negotiations, I told United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that this provision must be removed. Today, it’s gone. The new, improved, and renegotiated USMCA will no longer hinder Congress’s ability to lower the U.S. biologics exclusivity period, as proposed in legislation like my PRICED Act (H.R. 3379).
“The Trump Administration also tried to reward Big Pharma with increased protections that allowed the prescription drug makers to extend drug patents by making minor tweaks to their products, known as evergreening, thereby allowing them to keep drug prices high. Those provisions are now gone. Finally, the Trump Administration tried to prioritize brand names drugs and put up barriers to market entry for generic drugs. We revised those provisions to ensure generic competition and to improve access to affordable medicines for people across North America.
“Over the past six months, it has been an honor to serve on Speaker Pelosi’s 8-member Working Group and to lead negotiations around access to medicines alongside Rep. Earl Blumenauer. We could not have reached this milestone without the support of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who championed access to medicines along with enhanced labor standards and enforcement. I am proud to say because of House Democrats and our Speaker, USMCA is now a win for patients, workers, consumers here in the U.S. and across North America.”