Two more Senate committees Tuesday approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 16-4, while the Senate Budget Committee took a voice vote with two members asking to be “no” votes.
Both moved with lightning speed after the Senate Parliamentarian ruled USMCA needed the approval of six other committees besides Senate Finance, which voted 25-3 last week.
“USMCA builds on the certainty and progress achieved through recent trade agreements with Japan and China,” said Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso. “It’s going to expand market access for a host of U.S. products, and it will sharpen U.S. exporters’ competitive edge.”
Iowa’s Joni Ernst said USMCA is worth $2.2 billion in new farm sales to Mexico and Canada, which will change lives in rural America.
“Our farmers, manufacturers and small business owners need certainty and predictability, and getting this deal done with our top two trading partners, gives them exactly that,” Ernst said. “Ratifying this agreement will be a shot of positive energy into businesses, homes and lives across rural America.”
But several Democrats complained USMCA did nothing to deal with climate change, while Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey proposed amending the bill to change key spending provisions.
Budget Chair Mike Enzi ruled the change to the bill — unamendable under trade rules — out of order, while Finance Chair Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Ron Wyden also objected.
Toomey didn’t fight the chair’s ruling, but vowed to renew his effort on the Senate floor.