By a vote of 385-41, lawmakers sent to the Senate floor the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement – a restructuring of the North American Free Trade Agreement initially passed in the 1990s.
The Agreement is the result of a 2017–2018 renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by its member states, which informally agreed to the terms on September 30, 2018, and formally on October 1. The USMCA was signed by United States President Donald Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on November 30, 2018, as a side event of the 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires. Each country’s legislature still must ratify the agreement.
According to Fox Business, USMCA, which is a larger deal than the phase one agreement with China, encompasses more than $1.3 trillion of trade. The U.S. conducted $671.1 billion of goods and services trade with Mexico in 2018 and $718.5 billion of trade with Canada.
The U.S. International Trade Commission says that within five years, the USMCA could add up to $235 billion in new economic growth and 589,000 jobs to the U.S. economy.
Provisions of the agreement cover a wide range, including agricultural produce, homelessness, manufactured products, labor conditions, digital trade, among others. Some of the more prominent aspects of the agreement include giving US dairy farmers greater access to the Canadian market, guidelines to have a higher proportion of automobiles manufactured amongst the three nations rather than imported from elsewhere and retention of the dispute resolution system similar to that included in NAFTA.
Vice-President Michael Pence celebrated the decision.
“The passage of the USMCA by the House is a huge WIN for the American people. President Trump negotiated the largest trade deal in American history and after more than a year collecting dust on Speaker Pelosi’s desk it finally received massive bipartisan support tonight!” Pence stated on Twitter.
President Trump also celebrated but had some harsh words for Nancy Pelosi.
“The great USMCA Trade Deal (Mexico & Canada) has been sitting on Nancy Pelosi’s desk for 8 months, she doesn’t even know what it says, & today, after passing by a wide margin in the House, Pelosi tried to take credit for it. Labor will vote for Trump. The trade deal is great for USA!,” Trump tweeted.