The Democrats in the House of Representatives approved the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in an overwhelming 385-41 vote. Thirty-eight Democrats opposed it.
U.S. Congress finally votes for the new Trade Agreement USMCA after a year of back-and-forth between Trump, AMLO and Pelosi. @JesusSeade flew to Washington D.C. to stop a clandestine clause: to send inspectors to MX biz which Mexico rejected and ended up being a false alarm. https://t.co/FL7AH77lbb
— SinLíneaMx/English (@SinlineamxE) December 19, 2019
Most democrats and Republicans cheered this last iteration of the Free Trade Agreement.
This is the first-ever trade coalition of workers, farmers, Republicans, Democrats, business and agriculture groups, organized labor and much more,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement celebrating the vote.
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister said on twitter:
“With the approval of the TMEC [USMCA], a new phase of investment and growth for Mexico is about to begin. The uncertainty phase closes now. We move forward. Good news.”
Major business groups from the three countries largely backed the revised USMCA agreement as companies sought market certainty amid Trump’s trade war with China.
While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pushed for the deal’s ratification, it took issue with the Trump administration removing a provision that protected private U.S. pharmaceutical makers of so-called biologic drugs from generic competitors for at least 10 years.
The democrats put the restrictions back not allowing Mexico to develop generic bio-drugs for 5 years, Canada 10, and the U.S. 14 years, therefore protecting the interest if big pharma.
The trade agreement is now heading to the Senate, which is expected to ratify it next year. Canada will also be doing it next year.
The deal will not take effect until all three countries ratify it.