WASHINGTON, DC – After threatening to delay a Senate vote on the United States, Mexico and Canada (USMC) Trade Agreement until after the completion of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., has had a change of heart.
That has led to today’s Senate passage of the USMC Agreement. The House of Representatives had earlier passed the trade agreement on December 19, 2019.
In comments about the Senate passage, U.S. Senator John Thune said, “The USMC Agreement has been a big priority of mine over the past year because of the ways the agreement will benefit farmers and ranchers. Canada and Mexico are the number one and number two markets for American agricultural products. This agreement will give farmers certainty about what these markets are going to look like going forward.”
The trade agreement is now on its way to President Trump’s desk. Mexico has already ratified the agreement. Canada has not yet passed it. USMCA does not take effect until all three countries approve it.
The new trade accord makes a handful of key changes to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. It aims to give U.S. farmers better access to Canadian dairy markets, boost wages for autoworkers, discourage companies from outsourcing jobs and modernize digital trade rules.
“The US International Trade Commission estimates that the agreement will boost U.S. dairy exports by more than $277 million,” says Thune. “The agreement will also expand market access for US poultry and egg producers. It will make it easier for American producers to export wheat to Canada.”
He added, “The benefits of this agreement are not limited to farmers and ranchers. The USMC Agreement will benefit virtually every sector of the economy, from manufacturing to digital services to the automotive industry It will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs boost our economic output and increase wages for workers.”