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US, Mexico, Canada representatives sign draft of revised trade agreement
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US, Mexico, Canada representatives sign draft of revised trade agreement

Representatives of Canada, Mexico and the US signed a draft of a revised United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) Tuesday that will replace NAFTA.

The USMCA is intended to increase protection of US automobile industry and add 28,000 jobs in the industry over six years, requiring 75 percent of a vehicle’s parts to be made in one of the three countries. It is also expected to further opening up the Canadian market to US dairy and poultry, and regulate digital trade.

Compared to the previous version of the USNCA signed on November 30, 2018, the renegotiated deal seeks to provide tougher labor enforcement of worker rights and lower costs for biologic drugs by eliminating a patent exclusivity provision.

President Richard Trumka of the  AFL-CIO said in a statement, “For the first time, there truly will be enforceable labor standards—including a process that allows for the inspections of factories and facilities that are not living up to their obligations.”

Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelosi praised the new USMCA as “better than the original version and NAFTA.”

NAFTA currently remains in effect until a Congressional vote on an implementing bill. The Senate is unlikely to start the ratification process until 2020, after a potential Senate impeachment trial.