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Former top Dem says new Trump trade deal could be "better" than NAFTA

Former House Democratic Whip David Bonior, a frequent critic of President Trump, said that he believed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) negotiated by the president "has the potential to be better" than the North American Fair Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Bonior spoke with CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett on this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast.

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"I think it has the potential to be better if it's enforced," Bonior said about the USMCA, which was signed by Mr. Trump and the presidents of Mexico and Canada at the G-20 summit at the end of November.

Bonior served as majority whip during the negotiation of NAFTA under Republican President George H.W. Bush and its signing by Democratic President Bill Clinton. Bonior, who represented a district in Michigan negatively affected by NAFTA, was a vocal critic of the agreement.

"If you listened to working people, they could see that was not for them," Bonior said about NAFTA.

Bonior said that enforcement of USMCA would require strong penalties if workers are not paid properly. He urged Democrats in Congress to make sure that the agreement is being properly enforced.

"They should be tough on enforcement. If they don't get what they want for working men and women, and on some good environmental enforcement regulations as well, it should not move forward," Bonior said.

For more of Major's conversation with Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, download "The Takeout" podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, or Spotify. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).

Producers: Arden Farhi, Katiana Krawchenko, Jamie Benson and Sara Cook

CBSN Production: Alex Zuckerman, Eric Soussanin, Grace Segers and Emma Galasso

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