Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold a signing ceremony for the USMCA, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov. 30, 2018.

TOM BRENNER/The New York Times News Service

The United States Senate has overwhelmingly approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, rushing through one of President Donald Trump's priority files before starting his impeachment trial.

The USMCA, a rejigged version of NAFTA, passed by an 89 to 10 margin late Thursday morning. It will now go to Mr. Trump for his final signature.

Canada also still must ratify the deal for it to take effect. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who is expected to introduce legislation in the House of Commons in coming weeks, has said she would press forward with ratification when the U.S. did.

Story continues below advertisement

Mexico ratified USMCA last year.

“The implementing legislation will be a top priority when Parliament resumes later this month,” her spokesman, Alex Lawrence, wrote in an email.

In the U.S., the deal forged a rare bipartisan coalition between Republicans loyal to the President and Democrats enticed by the agreement’s stronger protections for organized labour. The Senate vote came a day after Mr. Trump signed a limited trade deal with China, and right before his impeachment trial for alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress formally got under way.

In the Oval Office, Mr. Trump lamented that the fulfilment of one of his central campaign promises – tearing up or renegotiating NAFTA – would be overshadowed by impeachment.

“Today, we just had passed the USMCA, it’s going to take the place of NAFTA, which was a terrible deal, and the USMCA will probably be second to this witch-hunt hoax,” he said.

The USMCA preserves most of NAFTA, but adds a handful of protectionist changes such as a requirement that more components of North American cars and trucks be made in the three countries. To win Democratic support, the Trump administration also agreed to write tighter labour standards, mostly targeted at Mexico, into the pact.

The few No votes on USMCA included presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who accused the trade deal of favouring large corporations, and ex-presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Story continues below advertisement

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer also voted against the agreement, saying it failed to include any provisions for fighting climate change. “On the greatest issue facing our planet, addressing the climate crisis, the USMCA falls far too short,” he said in a statement.

Only one Republican, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, voted against the deal because it is more protectionist than the existing trade pact.

Editor’s note: (Jan. 17, 2020): An earlier version of this article included incorrect information on ratification. This version has been updated.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies