The Mexico Senate overwhelmingly voted to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Wednesday, making them the first country to approve the deal.
The USMCA was previously a signed but not yet ratified free trade treaty between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. It was signed November 30, 2018 but was not ratified by any country until Wednesday. The USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). President Donald Trump helped make and sign the agreement in 2018.
USMCA includes new rules that call for about 40% of automobile parts be produced by workers who earn a minimum of $16 an hour plus more requirements that the parts be made in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Trump replaced USMCA with NAFTA in an effort to get better deals for U.S. workers.
Mexico Senators, who are responsible for approving international treaties such as this one, voted 114-4 to ratify USMCA. The treaty only needed a simply majority to pass, the Washington Post reported.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also wants to ratify the trade deal, but will probably wait until the Trump administration agrees on a deal with Democrats, WaPo reported. The United States is having the most difficult time out of the three countries, as Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn’t given a date for the vote. House Democrats are also pushing back, asking for more enforcement regarding the treaty’s labor and environmental portions.
Mexico was also a supporter of this new trade deal, although some admitted that it “wasn’t the best trade deal.”
“It’s not the best treaty, but it’s the one we’ve got,” said Mexican Sen. Antonio García Conejo according to WaPo.
Mexico and the U.S. have been on tense terms recently, with Trump threatening to impose tariffs on the country last month if Mexico didn’t improve their efforts to stop illegal immigration. Trump announced an agreement with Mexico about what they would do to help illegal immigration on June 7.
“With this [ratification], we are helping to provide certainty and legal support that will contribute to economic stability, trade, financial equilibrium and the fiscal health of our nation,” tweeted Ricardo Monreal, the Mexican Senate majority leader.
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