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Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidates Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) participate in the seventh Democratic 2020 presidential debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., January 14, 2020. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Democrats argue the merits of Trump’s USMCA trade deal

What has become a signature trade deal of President Donald Trump’s administration is a conflict point among the Democrats competing to replace him.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said at Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, that he opposes the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, or USMCA, in part because it “does not incorporate very, very strong principles to significantly lower fossil fuel emissions in the world.”

Asked why she backed the deal, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said it was a “modest improvement” over existing agreements and could be a placeholder for future reform.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said that, as president, he wouldn’t push a trade deal that didn’t include buy-in from environmentalists and unionists. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she backed the deal, as did former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who said it “has been improved. It is not perfect.”

READ MORE: These 4 changes helped Trump and Democrats agree to the USMCA trade deal

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