WASHINGTON – Still facing an impeachment trial in the Senate, President Donald Trump will celebrate the completion of one of his top legislative priorities Wednesday when he signs a revamped trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, rewrites the rules for trading agriculture, manufacturing and services with the nation’s neighbors and closest trading partners.
The pact is the product of months of negotiations and replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which essentially eliminated tariffs on most goods traded among the three countries.
The new agreement guarantees U.S. farmers greater access to Canada’s agriculture market and puts new e-commerce rules in place. It also dictates that a higher percentage of autos be made from parts manufactured in North America and requires that at least 40% of vehicle production be done by workers earning at least $16 per hour.
What’s in the deal?:From NAFTA to USMCA: Key changes on trilateral trade pact
For Trump, the revised deal marks a significant victory as he battles impeachment in the Senate and works to persuade voters to return him to office for another four years.
Trump relentlessly ridiculed NAFTA as the “worst trade deal ever” when he ran for president four years ago, arguing that it put American workers at a competitive disadvantage. Other critics, including Democrats, conceded NAFTA was outdated and needed to be revised.
Trump reopened trade negotiations with Mexico and Canada just four months after taking office and, after 13 months of talks, the sides struck the new deal. The revised pact passed the House last December and the Senate earlier this month with bipartisan support after House Democrats made some revisions.
The trade pact still must be ratified by Canada’s Parliament. Mexico’s Senate overwhelmingly approved the agreement in December.
Michael Collins covers the White House. Reach him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.