House passes NAFTA re-write

On Dec. 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the first major change to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) since the three-nation trade agreement first took effect 25 years ago.

The new agreement, dubbed USMCA by President Trump, was also the first to be endorsed by the national AFL-CIO in decades, largely because it contains enforceable commitments by Mexico to guarantee workers right to choose their unions, and contains measures likely to boost U.S. auto and steel manufacturing. The Machinists union still opposed the deal, saying it doesn’t stop the continued outsourcing of jobs to Mexico.

The vote in the House was 385-41. In Oregon and Washington, only U.S. representatives Peter DeFazio and Pramila Jayapal voted against it.

The Republican-majority Senate is set to vote on the deal early this year.

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