July 1, 2020

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Tech execs hail revised North America trade deal as 'rare bipartisan triumph'

By
Rafael Bernal
The Hill

The group that represents top technology executives in Washington lauded the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Wednesday as the new North American trade deal came into force.

“The USMCA is a rare, bipartisan triumph, but the real winners today as the agreement is implemented are American consumers and employees," said TechNet president and CEO Linda Moore.

"More than 12 million U.S. jobs are supported by trade, and having an agreement with our top two trading partners that reflects today’s economy with a first-of-its-kind digital trade chapter is long overdue," added Moore.

The USMCA, a replacement for the quarter-century-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), formally entered into force Wednesday.

The new deal includes regulations on digital commerce, a major gap in NAFTA, which was negotiated in the early 1990s.

President Trump campaigned against NAFTA, which he repeatedly called "the worst trade deal ever," and successfully pushed Mexico and Canada to negotiate the USMCA amid threats of leaving the old deal without a replacement.

Congress passed the USMCA in a bipartisan manner, although progressives fretted about enforcement of the deal's labor chapter — another novelty vis a vis NAFTA — and amid controversy over the deal's potential effects on pricing for pharmaceutical drugs.

Still, the deal's approval was a rare show of bipartisanship on a controversial issue.

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