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Mexico's Senate Votes 114-4 for NAFTA Replacement

Move is a 'crucial step forward' for USMCA
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 20, 2019 12:40 AM CDT
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is applauded during a rally in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, June 8, 2019.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
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(Newser) – Mexico's Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ratify a new free trade agreement with the United States and Canada, making it the first of the three countries to gain legislative approval. Mexico's upper chamber voted 114 to four with three abstentions in favor of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, the AP reports. It will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which President Trump had threatened to withdraw the United States from if Washington did not get a better deal. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the vote was "very good news." "It means foreign investment in Mexico, it means jobs in Mexico, it means guaranteeing trade of the merchandise that we produce in the United States," he said.

The treaty does not need to be approved by Mexico's lower house. It is still awaiting consideration by lawmakers in the United States and Canada, however. "Congratulations to President Lopez Obrador—Mexico voted to ratify the USMCA today by a huge margin. Time for Congress to do the same here!" Trump tweeted. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a statement applauded Mexico's ratification as "a crucial step forward." Ratification of the deal still faces some opposition in the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives. The United States is by far Mexico's biggest export market and its easy passage through the legislature had been expected.

(Read more Mexico stories.)

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