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USMCA passes in the Senate

USMCA passes in the Senate

A new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada designed to create hundreds of thousands of new U.S. jobs has been signed by President following the Senate’s overwhelming passage of the deal Thursday.

The vote to approve the pact, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, was 89-10. It’s a major rewrite of trade rules with the nation’s neighbors and closest trading partners relating to agriculture, manufacturing, and services.

The bill garnered the same kind of broad bipartisan support the trade measure received when the USMCA overwhelmingly passed the House last month by a 385-41 vote.

The agreement will benefit all corners of the U.S. economy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday prior to the vote.

“Farmers. Growers. Cattlemen. manufacturers. Small businesses. Big Businesses,” he said. “This is a major step for our whole country.”

The new agreement will replace rules for moving products among the three countries first crafted under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which essentially eliminated tariffs on most goods traded among the three countries.

Most Republicans, led by farm-state and industrial belt lawmakers, supported it because of expanded trading opportunities championed by Trump. Democrats who didn’t like the initial proposal have gotten behind it after changes were made to beef up enforcement of labor standards, such as requiring the inspection of Mexican factories and the closing of loopholes that have hampered prosecution of labor violations.