Truckers hail House passage of USMCA
Story by:@ FreightWaves.com
Truckers, union officials hail House passage of US-Mexico-Canada trade pact (USMCA)
The U.S. House of Representatives approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Dec. 19 by a 385-41 vote.
American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear said cross-border trade is key to the U.S. economy.
“By the nature of our work, truckers know the significance of this victory. Cross-border trade with our neighbors has become a cornerstone of the American economy,” Spear said in a release. “Strengthening this relationship as USMCA does help secure our economy’s foundation and ensures we will remain competitive in the global marketplace for decades to come.”
However, the U.S. Senate probably will not take up the USMCA vote until after the impeachment trial of President Trump, which is expected to begin in January.
Mexico’s Senate has already ratified the USMCA, while Canada’s Parliament is expected to vote soon.
USMCA would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which entered force on Jan. 1, 1994.
Car manufacturing was a key element of the USMCA. To be sold without tariffs, the trade deal will require that 75% of car or auto parts need to have originated in either the U.S., Canada or Mexico. With NAFTA, the requirement was 62.5%. Also, between 40 and 45% of it must be manufactured by workers who earn at least $16 per hour.
USMCA also includes tighter and enforceable labor standards, in an effort to slow the export of U.S. factory and white-collar jobs south of the border, according to labor union officials.
“Renegotiation of NAFTA and the subsequent improvements made by Democratic leadership have resulted in a final package that is superior to the original,” Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president, said in a statement.
USMCA also would give U.S. trucking companies a mechanism to initiate an investigation against a Mexican carrier. The measure is aimed at American trucking companies concerned about approved NAFTA Mexican truckers not following rules set by the new trade pact.
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Source and credits: freightwaves.com // iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski