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Trade deal moves to ratification, US Senate leader delays

WASHINGTON, DC – President Trump tweeted this morning that the United States, Mexico and Canada (USMCA) agreement is looking good and will benefit both farmers and manufacturers. On Tuesday Dec. 10 trade representatives from the U.S., Mexico and Canada all signed to finalize the new trade agreement, paving the way to ratification after more than two years of arduous negotiations.  

At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he will delay the ratification in the U.S. Senate.

First signed in November 2018 to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),  USMCA got bogged down in political complications, particularly in the United States, where opposition Democrats questioned whether it would really force Mexico to deliver on labor reforms meant to level the playing field between Mexican and American workers.

But another year of talks produced a series of additions – notably including tougher enforcement of labor provisions.

Trump has bashed the former NAFTA as “the worst trade deal in the history of the country,” blaming it for shipping American jobs south of the border. The labor provisions  and enforcement mechanisms in the latest version of USMCA puts requirements in place to address those concerns – enough for the President to support it.

The final deal, that represents close to 30 percent of the global economy, must now be ratified in all three countries’ legislatures. Trade officials from the three countries are expected to meet in Mexico City today.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he will delay U.S. Congressional ratification of USMCA pending an impeachment trail of President Trump in the Senate and the completion of those proceedings.

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