ip panel
Battleground states could be hit hard by Obamacare unraveling
04:32 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

In a reversal that sets her apart from her Senate colleague and 2020 rival Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Friday she will vote for the updated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, President Donald Trump’s replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In an interview with CNN affiliate WBZ published Friday, Warren said she’d support Trump’s trade agreement because she believes the updated version of the deal improves upon the version she previously didn’t support.

“Workers have had the legs taken out from underneath them and this agreement makes improvements,” she told WBZ. “It’s gonna help open up some markets for farmers, they need that stability. It’s gonna help with enforceable labor standards and that’s gonna be useful. We really need trade negotiations going forward that make sure anyone who wants access to our markets is actually helping us in the fight against climate change and helping build an economy that works for everybody in the US.”

Warren had previously disavowed the trade agreement and called it NAFTA 2.0. In a detailed foreign policy speech she gave in November 2018, she said that NAFTA needed to be renegotiated, but Trump’s deal wasn’t an improvement.

“But as it’s currently written, Trump’s deal won’t stop the serious and ongoing harm NAFTA causes for American workers,” she said at the time. “It won’t stop outsourcing, it won’t raise wages, and it won’t create jobs. It’s NAFTA 2.0.”

She continued: “For these reasons, I oppose NAFTA 2.0, and will vote against it in the Senate unless President Trump reopens the agreement and produces a better deal for America’s working families.”

A campaign aide pointed to three concerns the senator had with the 2018 version of the trade agreement: standard enforcement, prescription drugs and climate.

The aide said Warren supported the revised deal because of the changes made to strengthen labor standard enforcement, thanks to the efforts of her Senate Democratic colleagues such as Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown. The revised deal also dropped the prescription drug provision from the original deal and provides help for farmers, according to the aide.

Her support draws a stark contrast between her and rival Sanders, who strongly opposes the deal. He was most recently asked about it in New Hampshire on December 29, when he told a voter he doesn’t think the agreement would help Americans.

“This new agreement that they’re talking about is not going to put any significant stop to the outsourcing of American jobs,” he said in Newport, New Hampshire. “And the second thing that we have to do as I mentioned earlier, in any trade agreement you have to deal with climate change. To the best of my knowledge, there is not one word about climate change in that trade agreement so we cannot export the pollution and carbon emissions to other countries.”

CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed to this report.