Posted by 26 December 2019
In a final vote before leaving town for the holiday recess, the House of Representatives passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Passage of this agreement has long been a priority for President Trump.
By a vote of 385-95, a large bipartisan majority passed this updating of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Some of the key aspects of this agreement are:
- An increase in the amount of vehicle parts that must be manufactured in North America to qualify the vehicle as being exempt from tariffs
- A mandate that 30% of the work done on vehicles must be done by workers making more than $16 an hour
- A requirement that Mexico must loosen labor laws to make it easier for workers to unionize
- Stricter safety standards for Mexican trucks entering the U.S.
- An increase in the amount of U.S. dairy products that can be sold in Canada
- Stricter protections for intellectual property
- An agreement by Mexico to increase efforts to stop overfishing
The U.S., Canada, and Mexico negotiated NAFTA in the 1990s in order to promote freer trade between the three nations. This agreement mostly leaves this deal in place, but it does update some key parts, as described above.
President Trump has long been skeptical of deals that lower tariffs and move the U.S. towards free trade. He has even called himself “tariff man.” He says that foreign trade hurts American workers, and the U.S. should enact barriers to the sales of foreign products in the U.S. Critics of his approach argue that trade has wide benefits for the economy, from consumers to workers. They say it lowers the cost of goods and helps create jobs in more industries.
The Senate has yet to vote on the USMCA.
Do you support passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which updates NAFTA?