15 | SEP | 2019
Mexican Senate ratifies USMCA trade deal
There has been little parliamentary opposition in Mexico to trying to safeguard market access to United States, by far Mexico’s most important export market - Photo: Carlos Mejía/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexican Senate ratifies USMCA trade deal

19/06/2019
16:25
Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
Suzzete Alcántara & Juan Arvizu/EL UNIVERSAL & Reuters
-A +A
The USMCA was ratified with 114 Senators voting in favor and four against

On Wednesday the Mexican Senate ratified the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) agreed last year by the three countries to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

By an overwhelming majority, Mexico’s Senate backed the trade deal negotiated between 2017 and 2018 after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from NAFTA if he could not get a better trade deal for the United States.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had already said the deal would be ratified this week in the Senate, where his leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and its allies have a comfortable majority in the 128-member chamber.

There has been little parliamentary opposition in Mexico to trying to safeguard market access to United States, by far Mexico’s most important export market, and the deal was backed by nearly all the opposition lawmakers who voted.

The USMCA was ratified with 114 Senators voting in favor and four against. There were three abstentions.

Three of the four votes against the deal came from MORENA senators, as did one abstention. The other vote against the deal was from an independent senator, while two members of the center-right National Action Party (PAN) also abstained.

Seven senators were not present for the vote.

Héctor Vasconcelos, head of the Foreign Affairs Commission, claimed that “the new agreement is in the best interest of Mexico,” underlining the unanimity of the agreement’s approval.

“Our consensus comes amidst a crisis we have been facing for some weeks now, and in face of unilateral threats to impose tariffs on the part of the U.S. government, which could have serious and unpredictable consequences for our economy,” stated the MORENA politician.

Earlier today, Mexican President López Obrador tweeted a video expressing his approval of the Senate's decision. "This is some very good news [...] The USMCA was approved unanimously, which means that there is unity in our government and a commitment to strengthen our relationship with the U.S. and Canada. We are betting on free trade and we have no doubt that it was indeed necessary for us to ratify the agreement and change trade policies," he stated, mentioning that the North-American Free Trade Agreement had not yielded positive results for Mexican workers and companies in the past 25 years.

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