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Senate Passes USMCA Trade Agreement by Wide Margin

Zachary Evans

The Senate on Wednesday passed the USMCA trade agreement, the Trump administration’s update of NAFTA, by a vote of 89-10.

The agreement will allow free trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada among farmers and manufacturers, while updating certain rules in response to technological changes over the past several years. Under the new agreement auto manufacturers will have to comply with a stricter set of rules in order to avoid tariffs, including producing a certain amount of parts in the U.S., and farmers will be granted unrestricted access to the Canadian dairy market.

USMCA also sets guidelines for the free exchange of information and data between the North American countries.

The bill’s passage came on the heals of the signing of a phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China, relaxing certain tariffs the countries had put in place in the midst of a trade war.

“It’s like the World Series and Super Bowl all in one week,” Senator Rob Portman (R., Ohio) commented.

Mexico has already approved the agreement, while Canada’s parliament is expected to ratify the agreement in late January.

The bill’s bipartisan support provided a contrast to the impending impeachment trial of President Trump. The bill passed the House in December with broad support, in a vote of 385–41, less than a day after the body voted to impeach the President.

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