[Ip-health] Revised Trade Pact Set for Likely Approval by Congress in 2020 - Agreement to replace Nafta gains bipartisan backing, contains provisions aimed at creating manufacturing jobs

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed Dec 11 09:04:25 PST 2019


https://www.wsj.com/articles/house-democrats-reach-agreement-with-trump-administration-on-usmca-trade-deal-11575989670


Revised Trade Pact Set for Likely Approval by Congress in 2020Agreement to
replace Nafta gains bipartisan backing, contains provisions aimed at
creating manufacturing jobs

By
Natalie Andrews and
William Mauldin in Washington and
Anthony Harrup in Mexico City
Updated Dec. 10, 2019 7:36 pm ET

A new U.S. trade deal with Mexico and Canada gained backing from House
Democrats, setting the agreement on course for likely ratification by
Congress in 2020 and marking a victory for President Trump after months of
negotiations to modify it.

Mr. Trump ran for office in 2016 on a pledge to remake or blow up the North
American Free Trade Agreement, and his administration used a combination of
pressure tactics and closed-door negotiations to win support for an amended
version of the agreement from Democratic lawmakers, labor unions and
Mexican officials.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) embraced a version that
Democrats had negotiated with the administration just an hour after she
backed two articles of impeachment
<https://www.wsj.com/articles/house-democrats-announce-two-articles-of-impeachment-11575987219?mod=article_inline>
accusing
Mr. Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. That sets up an
expected House vote on the trade deal next week, before a likely divisive
election year in 2020.

“We are so proud of the distance that we have come from where we started
with the administration on this legislation,” Mrs. Pelosi said of the new
U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. “This victory for America’s workers
is one we take great pride in advancing.”

Later in Mexico City, the revised USMCA was signed by U.S. trade
representative Robert Lighthizer, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia
Freeland and Mexico’s undersecretary for North America, Jesús Seade.

<SNIP>

Aside from labor changes, the new version of USMCA will eliminate rules
designed to protect biologic drugs from generic imitators for at least 10
years, Democrats said, drawing a rebuke from big drugmakers. The
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers or America said the change “puts
politics over patients” and “removes vital protections for innovators.”

<SNIP>

Pharma: Big drugmakers are likely to be disappointed, since Democrats
pushed the Trump administration to remove language that would have
protected expensive biologic drugs from generic imitators for 10 years. The
existing Nafta treaty has no such drug protections.

<SNIP>


-- 
Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org


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