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Senate passes US-Canada-Mexico trade deal; WI politicians react

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a new North American trade pact that rewrites the rules of trade with Canada and Mexico.

Passage of the measure gives President Donald Trump a major policy victory before senators turn their full attention to his impeachment trial.

The measure goes to Trump for his signature.

It would replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA. It tore down most trade barriers and triggered a surge in trade.

Trump and other critics blamed NAFTA for encouraging U.S. companies to move their manufacturing plants south of the border to take advantage of low-wage Mexican laborers.

Senator Ron Johnson said the deal will benefit Wisconsinites.

“Wisconsinites rely on trade agreements that will benefit businesses, ensure collaboration between our trading partners, and promote stable economic growth. The final version of the USMCA will help Wisconsin farmers and manufacturers continue to sell their goods throughout North America. I was pleased to vote for it, and I hope that this is the first of many trade agreements that will benefit Wisconsinites.” - Sen. Ron Johnson.

Senator Tammy Baldwin said the deal falls short.

“President Trump’s trade wars have hurt our Wisconsin economy and more than 1,900 dairy farms have gone out of business since he took office. The President’s deal with Mexico and Canada fell short but I support the improvements Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats won to make this a better trade deal that I can support. The USMCA implementing legislation includes many changes I have pushed for with the Trump administration, including truly enforceable labor standards that benefit our workers, and making sure that we confront Canada’s unfair trade barriers and Mexico’s limits on Wisconsin cheese exports so that we have a trade deal that increases market access for our Wisconsin dairy farmers and cheesemakers. NAFTA, which I opposed, cost Wisconsin jobs and needed to be fixed. I am voting for the USMCA because it is a better deal for farmers, manufacturers, businesses and workers. Going forward, President Trump needs to understand Wisconsin needs better trade deals, not trade wars and that in order to stop the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs we not only need fair trade deals, our workers need tax reform that rewards their hard work and doesn’t encourage corporations to send their jobs to other countries.” - Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Associated Press

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