A quick hat tip to Congress and the president for getting something done. That’s a rare accolade. My go-to position on Congress is to undo things or stop things from getting worse. Less is always more when it comes to legislatures unless the “more” leads to less. And the USMCA is a bit of both.
The Senate on Wednesday passed the USMCA trade agreement, the Trump administration’s update of NAFTA, by a vote of 89-10.
The agreement will allow free trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada among farmers and manufacturers, while updating certain rules in response to technological changes over the past several years. Under the new agreement auto manufacturers will have to comply with a stricter set of rules in order to avoid tariffs, including producing a certain amount of parts in the U.S., and farmers will be granted unrestricted access to the Canadian dairy market.
NAFTA wasn’t working anymore if it ever did, but free trade is still a good idea when you can get it without cheating subsidies or currency or labor market manipulation. In a big world that is hard to find. And I’m not saying this is it or that it is perfect, but it is better.
More of what America needs and less of what it does not.
Those voting against included Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa, and Democrats Charles E. Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jack Reed, Brian Schatz, Cory Booker, Edward J. Markey, and independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.