The United States, Mexico, and Canada have reached a historic trade deal, U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement USMCA Trade Bill.
“There is no question, of course, that this trade agreement is much better than NAFTA,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in announcing the agreement.
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 10, 2019
“This is a day we’ve all been working to and working for on the path to yes,” she added.
President Trump said that the USMCA Trade Bill “will be the best and most important trade deal ever.”
“America’s great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good. It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody—Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions—tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!” the president tweeted.
In Mexico City, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland joined Mexican officials to sign the updated version of the trade agreement, or USMCA, at a ceremony in Mexico City’s centuries-old National Palace, The Associated Press reported.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer praised the agreement, “Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, we have reached an historic agreement on the USMCA. After working with Republicans, Democrats, and many other stakeholders for the past two years we have created a deal that will benefit American workers, farmers, and ranchers for years to come,” Lighthizer said. “This will be the model for American trade deals going forward.”
“More than 12 million American jobs depend on our $1.4 trillion trading relationship with Canada and Mexico, and USMCA will strengthen this trade relationship,” said Tom Linebarger, CEO of engine-maker Cummins Inc. and chairman of the Business Roundtable’s trade and international committee that represents the CEOs of the 200 largest U.S. companies, Fox News reported.
“It will deliver a measure of certainty farmers badly need right now,” said Angela Hofmann, co-director of the advocacy group Farmers for Free Trade. “Now it’s time to get the bill passed before politics can get in the way. Farmers and ranchers will be watching closely to ensure that their members of Congress are standing up for American agriculture.”
The AFL-CIO labor union backs the agreement and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka praised the agreement.
“Working people are responsible for a deal that is a vast improvement over both the original NAFTA and the flawed proposal brought forward in 2017,” he said. “For the first time, there truly will be enforceable labor standards — including a process that allows for the inspections of factories and facilities that are not living up to their obligations.”
“There is no denying that the trade rules in America will now be fairer because of our hard work and perseverance. Working people have created a new standard for future trade negotiations,” he said, “President Trump may have opened this deal. But working people closed it.”
The Associated Press reported that the agreement contains provisions designed to nudge manufacturing back to the United States. For example, it requires that 40% to 45% of cars eventually be made in countries that pay autoworkers at least $16 an hour—that is, in the United States and Canada and not in Mexico.
A U.S. House vote is likely before Congress adjourns for the year and the Senate is likely to vote in January or February. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the vote on the trade deal will likely occur after an expected impeachment trial in the Senate, according to The Associated Press.
“It is long overdue for Congress to take up the USMCA, and we expect to push hard on passing the implementing bill before the end of the year,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press