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A year after it was signed, President Trump and House Democrats have struck a deal that will allow the USMCA to be ratified in December.

USMCA is the successor to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, which President Trump criticized often when he was running for president.

“America’s great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good,” President Trump tweeted Dec. 10. “It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody - Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions - tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Democrats have improved the agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico which was signed Nov. 30 last year by President Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Democrats had pushed for changes on labor, enforcement and pharmaceuticals provisions in the deal.

“With the transformative changes we won, Democrats have achieved a #USMCA agreement that is infinitely better for American workers than what was originally proposed by the Trump Administration,” Pelosi said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a tweet that the USMCA is a “win for the American worker and has been since the day President Trump signed it over a year ago.”

McCarthy said Democrats delayed the deal for too long. “But finally—after months of relentless advocacy from Republicans—we’re one step closer,” he said.

Bloomberg reported that House Democrats are expected to  vote on USMCA before Christmas. The report said officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico will sign amendments to the agreement on Dec. 10, followed by expected ratification by all three countries.

With the exception of pockets of resistance in the U.S. Southeast, produce and agriculture groups have been supportive of USMCA, stating that the absence of a deal would create uncertainty and cause disruptions to fruit and vegetable supply chains.

In June, almost 1,000 agriculture groups urged Congress to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

More than 960 groups were listed on a letter sent key legislators that states the agreement “will benefit the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers a more abundant supply of high-quality, safe food at affordable prices.”

 

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