WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the deal managing trade between the U.S. and its two biggest trading partners.
One of Trump’s campaign promises was to get rid of the North American Free Trade Agreement signed in 1995. It took nearly two years of negotiations and edits, but the USMCA ultimately passed Congress with bipartisan support.
“Today, we’re finally ending the NAFTA nightmare,” Trump said at a signing event on the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday. “The USMCA is the largest, fairest, most balanced and modern trade agreement ever achieved.”
The White House says the USMCA will expand access to U.S. agriculture and manufacturing markets while also enforcing new labor policies to stop jobs from leaving the country.
“This the kind of good news we’ve been needing,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said. “There’s definitely increased optimism as we head into 2020.”
Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., said the USMCA coupled with the phase one of the new trade deal with China will help farmers and manufacturers in his state.
“Caterpillar, ADM, so many others,” he listed.
Missing from the signing ceremony: Democrats, who say they weren’t invited.
“Considering that Democrats pretty much wrote the agreement, I find that a little funny, but it’s not,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said.
He said Democrats made the deal better by holding out for labor provisions, in part, aimed at ensuring more auto parts are made domestically.
“I don’t care if I’m at the bill signing,” Brown said. “I just am glad that we finally convinced the president to do the right thing for workers.”
With Mexico already on board, the deal will go into effect when Canada approves it.
The USMCA will expire in 16 years, but will be subject to review every six years.