The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is moving toward ratification, having today received the support of Democrats in the House of Representatives. The House is expected to vote on the USMCA, which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), next week. NAFTA has been in place since 1994 and represents approximately $1.2 trillion in trade among the three countries.

The USMCA’s provisions update NAFTA in several areas, including modernized intellectual property protection, digital trade and financial services markets, labor, environmental protection and other areas, and provide new enforcement mechanisms. The USMCA had secured the support of Republicans and business groups, but Democrats were pushing back on the legal language behind the new labor rules. The announcement today of a deal follows several days of negotiations with Mexico regarding a range of clauses touching on steel and aluminum, drugs, internet services and labor provisions.

In a statement, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, says, ”After working with Republicans, Democrats and many other stakeholders for the past two years, we have created a deal that will benefit American workers, farmers and ranchers for years to come.”

The amended version of USMCA was signed in Mexico City today by officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The Senate is expected to take up the bill after the holiday break.