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Senate Finance Committee advances USMCA; trade deal closer to ratification

New York — The Senate Finance Committee approved the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement Tuesday, moving the trilateral trade agreement, which has received strong support from North American steelmakers, one step closer to full ratification by Congress.

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United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act was reported out of committee in a 25-3 vote, according to a Finance Committee statement.

US steelmakers have thrown their support behind the USMCA, particularly in regard to changes made related to enforcement and the creation of new rules of origin and origin procedures, including product-specific rules for passenger vehicles, light trucks, and auto parts.

"I expect the full Senate will act soon and that final approval of USMCA is just around the corner," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, said in a statement. "That is good news for millions of farmers, manufacturers, and workers in every corner of America."

The timeline for final Senate ratification of the USMCA however is clouded, as an impeachment trial in the Senate could delay a vote on the trade deal. Speaking to reporters ahead of Tuesday's committee vote, Grassley said final passage of the deal could be delayed by a month, according to Politico.

The House of Representatives approved the USMCA with overwhelming bipartisan support December 19. Mexico previously ratified the trade agreement in 2019, while Canada has yet to ratify a final agreement.