U.S. Senate approves new NAFTA deal
January 17, 2020
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The Senate approved President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement on Thursday, handing the president a major political win on the same day senators will be sworn in as jurors in his impeachment trial.
The NAFTA overhaul, Trump’s top legislative priority for the past year, cleared the Senate on an 89-10 vote and now heads to the president for his signature, according to the Financial Post. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement passed the House in December on a bipartisan 385-41 vote the day after the Democratic-led chamber voted to impeach Trump.
The Senate vote is also moving in tandem with the impeachment process, coming just a few hours before Chief Justice John Roberts is sworn in to preside over the trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell applauded the trade deal as a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation.
“A major win for our country. A major win for the Trump administration. A major win for those of us who are ready to move past this season of toxic political noise and get back to doing even more of the American people’s business,“ McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, finally got behind the trade agreement in December after more than a year of wrangling with the Trump administration over changes to provisions regarding labour, the environment, pharmaceuticals and the overall enforcement of the deal. The changes won over Democratic senators like Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren who criticized previous free trade deals.