Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced at a Capitol Hill briefing on Dec. 10 that House Democrats had reached an agreement with the Trump administration so that Congress in the coming weeks can take a straight up-or-down vote on the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will replace the existing NAFTA tripartite free-trade agreement.
The USMCA agreement was signed by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico back in the fall of 2018, but it must be ratified by Congress before it can go into effect.
“After working with Republicans, Democrats, and many other stakeholders for the past two years we have created a deal that will benefit American workers, farmers, and ranchers for years to come,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a Dec.10 statement. “This will be the model for American trade deals going forward.”
The American Trucking Associations was also quick to applaud the bipartisan deal. “Now with a clear path to USMCA’s ratification, this is an historic victory for truck drivers, motor carriers and the entire American economy,” said ATA President Chris Spear.
“The vast majority of trade in North America moves on truck, with $772 billion worth of goods crossing our borders with Mexico and Canada every year,” he added. “USCMA will provide the certainty our industry needs while ensuring the United States remains competitive on the world stage.”
ATA Chairman Randy Guillot, president of Triple G Express, commented that, “Trade is a tremendous driver of revenue and creator of jobs in trucking, which is why passing USMCA has been so important to our industry. “Trade with our two closest neighbors supports nearly 90,000 Americans in trucking-related jobs and generates $12.62 billion in annual revenue for our industry. As USMCA deepens our economic ties, we expect these figures – like our economies – to continue to increase.”
Spear also hailed the deal as “a great example of what is possible in creating consensus around good policy. “Truckers and our economy depend on good policymaking, and this bipartisan agreement is a reminder of how government can make our lives and businesses stronger. I thank President Trump, Speaker Pelosi, and all who have put disagreements aside to achieve this historic agreement.”