Mexico Approves USMCA

Mexico becomes the first country to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement. ( Free Images )

Mexico’s Senate has ratified the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) agreed last year by the three countries to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The trade deal negotiated between 2017 and 2018 after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from NAFTA, was ratified with 114 Senators voting in favor and four against. There were three abstentions.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador favored the trade deal, and his leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and its allies have a comfortable majority in the 128-member chamber.

There has been little parliamentary opposition in Mexico to trying to safeguard market access to United States, by far Mexico’s most important export market, and the deal was backed by nearly all the opposition lawmakers who voted.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected in Washington, D.C. this week, as part of an effort to ratify the USMCA. Analysts expect the trade package to be approved by Canadian lawmakers, too.

While Trump has pushed for a quick passage of USMCA, House Democrats want more time to review the agreement. The agreement must first pass the U.S. House before the Senate can consider the agreement.

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