- Title: U.S. House passes new North American trade pact to replace NAFTA
- Date: 19th December 2019
- Summary: ROSSER, MANITOBA, CANADA (FILE - OCTOBER 2018) (REUTERS) FILE OF COWS EATING HAY ST. CLAUDE, MANITOBA, CANADA (FILE - OCTOBER 2018) (REUTERS) FILE OF COWS IN A PEN ROSSER, MANITOBA, CANADA (FILE - OCTOBER 2018) (REUTERS)) VARIOUS FILE OF DAIRY FARMER SQUEEZING COWS' TEATS FILE OF COW PRODUCING MILK CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO (FILE - MARCH 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS FILE OF PEOPLE WORKING IN ELECTRONICS ASSEMBLY FACTORY NUEVO LAREDO, MEXICO (FILE - JUNE 13, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS FILE OF TRACTOR TRAILERS PASSING THROUGH MEXICAN CUSTOMS POST VARIOUS FILE OF TRACTOR TRAILERS ON ROAD BY U.S.-MEXICO BORDER NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) FILE OF SHOPPERS WALKING IN A MALL FILE OF SHOPPER AT J.C. PENNEY TALKING TO A STORE WORKER
- Embargoed: 2nd January 2020 21:56
- Keywords: AFL-CIO Canada Mexico NAFTA Richard Trumka USA USMCA assembly cars dairy factory labor union steel trucks vote
- Location: WASHINGTON D.C.; NEW YORK, NEW YORK; LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; FLINT, MICHIGAN; UNITED STATES + ROSSER, MANITOBA AND ST. CLAUDE, MANITOBA, CANADA + CIUDAD JUAREZ, NUEVO LAREDO, MEXICO + UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: WASHINGTON D.C.; NEW YORK, NEW YORK; LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; FLINT, MICHIGAN; UNITED STATES + ROSSER, MANITOBA AND ST. CLAUDE, MANITOBA, CANADA + CIUDAD JUAREZ, NUEVO LAREDO, MEXICO + UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: USA
- Topics: Government/Politics,International Trade
- Reuters ID: LVA003BAN8CHZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday (December 19) backed a new trade agreement with neighboring Mexico and Canada in a 385-41 bipartisan vote, sending the NAFTA replacement measure to the Senate for consideration early in 2020.
Democrats, who control the House, approved the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) more than a year after President Donald Trump secured the deal with Mexico and Canada.
Voting against the measure were 38 Democrats, two Republicans and one independent.
The USMCA trade pact, first agreed upon in September 2018, will replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump vowed for years to quit or renegotiate NAFTA, which he blames for the loss of millions of U.S. factory jobs to low-wage Mexico.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave USMCA a green light last week after striking a deal with the Trump administration, Canada and Mexico to strengthen labor enforcement provisions and eliminate some drug patent protections.
Pelosi said she was not concerned about Democrats handing Trump a political victory on USMCA as they are trying to remove him from office. "It would be a collateral benefit if we can come together to support America's working families, and if the president wants to take credit, so be it," Pelosi said during House floor debate before the vote.
Richard Trumka, President of the major AFL-CIO labor union told Reuters on Thursday that he was "willing to walk away from an agreement that wasn't enforceable".
"Because an agreement that wasn't enforceable is a sad trick that you play on the American public. That's what NAFTA did," he said. A former coal miner, AFL-CIO labor leader Trumka pushed the White House and Congress for big changes in labor protections in the updated NAFTA agreement.
The agreement modernizes NAFTA, adding language that preserves the U.S. model for internet, digital services and e-commerce development, industries that did not exist when NAFTA was negotiated in the early 1990s. It eliminates some food safety barriers to U.S. farm products and contains language prohibiting currency manipulation for the first time in a trade agreement.
But the biggest changes require increased North American content in cars and trucks built in the region, to 75% from 62.5% in NAFTA, with new mandates to use North American steel and aluminum.
(Production: Temis Tormo)
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