·  by Robert Roach, Jr.; President, Alliance for Retired Americans   ·  Alliance for Retired Americans

New NAFTA Language Cannot be Approved in its Current Form

Soon Congress will consider a revised NAFTA trade deal, also known as the USMCA. The administration and the governments of Canada and Mexico have negotiated the wording as it currently stands.

The revised deal would lock in high U.S. drug prices. It extends pharmaceutical corporations’ monopoly rights, allowing them to block generic competition. Delaying the introduction of generic medicine means high prices for biologics, medicines that fight cancer and other critical diseases for even longer.

The agreement also ties the hands of future Congresses. It prevents any future changes that would lower drug prices for the drugs affected by this agreement.

Mexico’s Undersecretary for North America recently admitted this danger that the USMCA would make it "more difficult to get generic” medicines.

Americans pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world. One in five people say that they can't afford the cost of their prescribed medication. Many seniors have to choose between taking those medications and putting food on the table.

The last thing we need now is a trade deal that makes this problem worse. White House officials have not yet submitted the text for the bill, and Congress can make changes, or vote the agreement down.

We call on Congress to block these giveaways to Pharma and stand up for retirees and all consumers.

Robert Roach, Jr. is president of the Alliance for Retired Americans. He was previously General Secretary-Treasurer of the IAMAW. For more information, visit www.retiredamericans.org.

 

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