UPDATE: House passes USMCA trade agreement

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WASHINGTON (WLNS) – The US House of Representatives approved the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement with a vote of 385 to 41.

The bipartisan support, delivers President Donald Trump a major legislative victory the day after his impeachment in the lower chamber.

“While the USMCA is far from a perfect agreement, it is one that will, on net, benefit our economy, and I voted to pass it today,” U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin said. “The original draft negotiated by the Administration was flawed, and claims that it would return jobs to the United States by the thousands was strongly misleading. I’m proud that tough negotiations secured changes that labor leaders, workers, farmers, and small businesses in our district have been pushing for — including removing a big give-away to pharmaceutical companies. In the meantime, the USMCA is an important step in the right direction for Michigan workers, and will give economic certainty that is critical to Michigan farmers and Michigan businesses.”

“Passage of the USMCA is a historic step forward for Michigan’s job providers,” said Rich Studley, President & CEO of the Michigan Chamber. “Ratifying this agreement will promote and protect the nearly 118,000 Michigan jobs that rely on trade with Canada and Mexico.”

The International Trade Commission projected in April that the agreement would boost the economy by $68 billion and add 176,000 jobs six years after taking effect.

Some of the biggest impacts would be felt in the U.S. automotive industry. The agreement aims to see more cars produced where workers earn an average of at least $16 an hour.

The commission found that the new agreement would create 30,000 jobs in American auto parts plants. On the down side, the commission found the pact would increase the cost of pickup trucks and cars. That would hurt demand and reduce the number of jobs in factories that assemble cars by about 1,500.

Hardworking men and women in Michigan are enjoying a strong economy right now with rising wages and low unemployment. The USMCA is another win for those workers because it levels the playing field for manufacturing and makes our country more competitive with our neighbors

Congressman John Moolenaar

The USMCA is the first rewrite to the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

For too long, Michigan has needed better trade deals, and today’s vote will help finally put NAFTA in the rearview mirror. The USMCA is a significant leap forward towards leveling the playing field for farmers, workers, and manufacturers

Congressman Tim Walberg

The measure will now move to the Senate.

“Congressional passage of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement will help Michigan manufacturers grow in the United States, compete globally and support millions of well-paying manufacturing jobs across the country,” said Dan Papineau, Director of Tax Policy & Regulatory Affairs for the Michigan Chamber. “We urge the US Senate to take the next step toward ratification by swiftly passing this critically important trade agreement.”

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