WASHINGTON — Republicans and Democrats have agreed to a revised version of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, all but assuring its passage after more than a year of negotiations. President Donald Trump, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, automotive manufacturers, and union representatives all praised the bill, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994.
“America’s great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good. It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA,” Trump wrote in a tweet, adding that NAFTA was “our Country’s worst Trade Deal.”
The bill is expected to face a full House vote next week and rapid passage in the Senate before heading to Trump’s desk for a final signature.
Negotiations were led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the Republican side; his Democratic counterpart was House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts. Democrats secured a series of revisions covering environmental, pharmaceutical, labor, and enforcement issues.
“This is the day we have been waiting for,” Pelosi said Tuesday. “It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.”
“We demanded a trade deal that benefits workers and fought every single day to negotiate that deal.”
The deal was also endorsed in official statements from U.S. carmakers, which praised USMCA as “vital to the success of the North American auto industry” (General Motors) and “allows the U.S. auto industry to be globally competitive” (Ford).
“We demanded a trade deal that benefits workers and fought every single day to negotiate that deal; and now we have secured an agreement that working people can proudly support,” added Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, America’s biggest labor union. “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.”