The USMCA Agreement Vote: What You Need to Know

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, is a trade agreement that has been years in the making. It was signed by the leaders of the three countries on November 30, 2018, but only recently made its way through Congress to be voted on for final approval. On January 16, 2020, the US Senate voted 89-10 to pass the agreement, following the House of Representatives who voted in favor of it in December 2019.

The USMCA will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was enacted in 1994. The agreement is designed to modernize and improve trade relations between the three countries, with a particular focus on the automotive industry, digital trade, and labor rights.

One of the key changes in the USMCA is the requirement that a higher percentage of a car`s components be made in North America in order to qualify for tariff-free treatment. The agreement also includes provisions designed to protect intellectual property and prevent digital barriers to trade.

In addition, the USMCA includes new provisions that aim to improve labor rights in Mexico. Under NAFTA, Mexican workers were often paid low wages and faced unfavorable working conditions. The USMCA requires Mexico to enforce laws that give workers the right to unionize and bargain for better wages and working conditions.

While there has been some debate over the agreement`s impact on the economy and the environment, the majority of lawmakers in Congress believe that the USMCA will be a positive step forward for North American trade relations.

One of the biggest challenges facing the USMCA was ensuring that it would be approved by all three countries. The agreement faced delays in the US due to concerns about labor rights and environmental protections, while Canada was initially hesitant to sign a deal that did not include a resolution to the ongoing dispute over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. Mexico, meanwhile, was optimistic about the agreement and had already begun making changes to its labor laws in order to comply with the USMCA`s provisions.

Overall, the USMCA is expected to have a positive impact on the North American economy, with the International Trade Commission estimating that it will add $68 billion to the U.S. economy and create 175,000 new jobs. The agreement will also provide greater certainty for businesses in the region, allowing them to make investment decisions with more confidence.

In conclusion, the USMCA agreement vote is a significant moment in North American trade relations. While there are challenges and concerns associated with any major trade agreement, the USMCA represents a modernization and improvement of the existing NAFTA agreement. With its focus on labor rights, digital trade, and the automotive industry, the USMCA is expected to have a positive impact on the North American economy for years to come.