The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed President Donald Trump’s trade deal with Mexico and Canada on Thursday, just one day after it voted to impeach him.
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which sets rules for moving products among the three countries, passed with a vote of 385-41. The Senate will be able to vote to ratify the deal in 2020.
House Democrats and the White House reportedly reached a deal on the trade agreement earlier in December, and Democrats touted Trump’s agreement as being “infinitely better” than what was first proposed. The bipartisan vote occurred after the House’s mostly party-line votes Wednesday to impeachment the president.
“It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this month. “It’s a victory for America’s workers—it’s one that we take great pride in advancing.”
>>> Commentary: US-Mexico-Canada Agreement Offers Freer Trade, More Jobs
Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a Trump adversary who recently changed his affiliation from Republican to independent, was one of the few to vote against the 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, or NAFTA, which Trump criticized as being the “worst trade deal ever.”
“I’m glad today is here,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Thursday before the vote, “but the delay has hurt us.”
USMCA has stronger provisions than NAFTA for enforcing labor and environmental standards. It also includes an updated verification process to allow American customs workers to block certain goods that were made without following the provisions.
The final trade deal, called a win for American farmers by USA Today, does not include a provision that would have spiked the cost of prescription drugs.
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