Mexico this week ratified the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It was ratified in the Mexican senate on June 19 by a vote of 114 in favour to four against. President Donald Trump had repeatedly threatened to withdraw from NAFTA if he could not get a better agreement. Trump congratulated Lopez Obrador on Twitter for Mexico’s approval and wrote “Time for [US] Congress to do the same here!” As Canada is also moving forward to ratify the deal, Democratic lawmakers in the United States have threatened to block the process.
As Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and its allies have a comfortable majority in the 128-member chamber, there has been little parliamentary opposition to trying to safeguard market access to the United States, by far Mexico’s top export destination, according to global newswires. Mexico sends around 80 per cent of its exports to the United States. Lopez Obrador noted earlier that the tariffdispute showed Mexico needed to become more economically self-sufficient. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he believed Democrats’ concerns on enforcing labour and environmental provisions in USMCA can be sorted out quickly. Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s previous president Enrique Pena Nieto signed USMCA on November 30 last year. Lopez Obrador took office on December 1.
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