Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) announced Tuesday that a deal has been reached on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The new trade agreement, which replaces the old NAFTA deal, was approved by the AFL-CIO labor federation, President Donald Trump and House Democrats, marking an unusual show of bipartisan teamwork amidst the ongoing impeachment proceedings. The widely supported deal gives Trump a major domestic policy victory as impeachment looms and helps moderate Democrats please their constituents back home.


“There is no question of course, that this trade agreement is much better than NAFTA,” Pelosi said in a news conference announcing the deal. “But in terms of our work here, it is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.”

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The deal has been over a year in the making, but the Democrats wanted a few key areas to be changed before ratifying it. Those areas included enforcement, labor and environmental standards and drug pricing provisions.

Neal called USMCA “a triumph for workers everywhere in America,” attributing its successful negotiations to Pelosi and the working group members she had chosen.

“These were intense, argumentative, angry negotiations,” Neal said. “I mean this got really hot on a number of occasions. I think we set a world record for hanging up on each other, myself and the trade rep, but at the same time we also knew that this was an opportunity that we couldn’t let get away from us.”

He celebrated the agreement as a deal that “respects the dignity of workers, contains meaningful enforcement provisions, and prioritizes environmental protection and remediation.”

Neal tweeted, “With USMCA, Democrats secured improvements aimed at enhancing North America’s economic competitiveness and advancing the United States, Mexico, & Canada’s collective work to empower workers, protect patients’ access to affordable health care, and improve our shared environment.”

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