WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Both chambers of Congress have approved a new trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico championed by President Trump.
On Thursday, the Senate voted 89 to 10 to send the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, to the president’s desk. Both of Maryland’s Democratic senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, voted in favor of the agreement.
In a statement, Van Hollen said the initial agreement proposed by the Trump administration failed to earn his support but changes proposed by Congress led him to vote for the legislation.
“The final deal provides much-needed changes to NAFTA, including important and more enforceable labor standards and provisions that will lead to more American-made parts in manufacturing, both of which will boost good-paying jobs in Maryland and our country,” Van Hollen said.
On Twitter, Cardin called the new trade agreement, “good for our environment, for workers and it’s good for Maryland.”
“I’m especially pleased with the USMCA’s anti-corruption and good governance provisions, which enforce accountability and transparency, signaling to our trading partners and the rest of the world that our principles are as valuable as our goods,” he tweeted.
Despite voting yes, both Cardin and Van Hollen said they wished the USMCA included more environmental protections.
Last month, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly — 385 to 41 — to pass the USMCA.
Five Maryland congressmen — Andy Harris (R), Dutch Ruppersberger (D), John Sarbanes (D), Steny Hoyer (D) and David Trone (D) voted in favor of the agreement, while two voted against it — Anthony Brown (D) and Jamie Raskin (D).
In a statement after the vote, Harris called the USMCA “badly needed.”
“I congratulate President Trump for delivering on a key campaign promise to help American workers by re-negotiating bad trade deals from the past,” he said. “This new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada was badly needed because NAFTA was outdated and resulted in millions of American jobs leaving the country, especially to Mexico. This new agreement is especially great for our farmers and poultry growers in the First Congressional District.”