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House Overwhelmingly Votes To Pass USMCA

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada Thursday, just one day after impeaching President Donald Trump.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which places new rules for moving products between the countries, passed with a vote of 385-41. The Senate will now be able to vote to ratify the deal next year.

House Democrats and the White House reportedly reached a deal on the USMCA earlier in December, and Democrats touted Trump’s agreement as being “infinitely better” than what was first proposed. The bipartisan vote passed Thursday despite Congress’ party-line impeachment vote of the president Wednesday.

“It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier in December, shortly after introducing impeachment articles against the president. “It’s a victory for American workers, and it’s one that we take great pride in advancing.”

Independent Michigan Rep. Justin Amash was one of the few to vote against the new trade deal.

The agreement was held up for almost 14 months as Democrats worked to make changes with the Trump administration, USA Today reported. USMCA will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Trump has slammed as being the “worst trade deal ever.”

“I’m glad today is here,” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday before the vote, “But the delay has hurt us.”

USMCA has stronger provisions for enforcing labor and environmental standards. It also includes a new verification process to allow American customs workers to block certain goods that were made without following the new provisions.

The trade deal is also a win for American farmers, USA Today reported. The trade deal does not include a provision that would have spiked the cost of prescription drugs.

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