With a senate vote of 114 in favor, four against, and three abstentions, Mexico became the first country to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Wednesday.
The USMCA, the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), will update the terms of trade to regulate sectors that were not present when NAFTA was enacted, such as e-commerce. Among the most notable changes in the new trade agreement are provisions regarding the auto industry, the Canadian dairy market, and the sunset clause whereby the agreement will end after 16 years unless re-ratified.
The US is Mexico’s most important export market, and the desire to protect access to that market led to little opposition from Mexico’s elected officials.
Both Canada and the US have yet to ratify the USMCA. President Trump congratulated Mexican President Lopez Obrador on ratification in a tweet and called on the US Congress to do the same. Democrats in the US House of Representatives have voiced objections to the new agreement. Canada is expected to ratify the deal, but Prime Minister Trudeau will likely wait for greater clarity on the US position before moving ahead.