Democrats announce support for revised North America trade pact

The Democrats have announced their support for a modified North America trade pact, handing Donald Trump a victory on a past campaign pledge after months of negotiations.

Nancy Pelosi, the most senior Democrat in the House of Representatives, said that her party would back the new agreement after changes which they lobbied for were made. 

The revamped US-Mexico-Canada Agreement will replace the North America Free Trade Agreement [Nafta], which Mr Trump derided as the "worst deal ever" during his 2016 election campaign. 

Mr Trump ordered talks with Mexico and Canada shortly after taking office and a deal had been reached, but the Democrats – who hold the US House of Representatives – had been withholding support. 

Ms Pelosi said "there is no question of course that this trade agreement is much better than Nafta" and touted changes she had secured, saying the revised deal was "infinitely better" than the one the Trump administration initially secured. 

Donald Trump was very critical of Nafa during his 2016 election campaignCredit:
UPI / Barcroft Media

The announcement, which came on the same day as the Democrats announced articles of impeachment against Mr Trump, helped Ms Pelosi counter claims Congress has ground to a halt due to the impeachment drive. 

Mr Trump said the revised deal with "great for everybody", tweeting: "It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA." 

Nafta is a regional pact in place since 1994 that encompasses $1.2 trillion in annual trade across the continent. Its backers say it is responsible for 12 million U.S. jobs and a third of all US agricultural exports.

Both Mr Trump and left-wing Democrats have accused the agreement of fuelling the move of manufacturing jobs from America into Mexico, where the workforce is cheaper. 

The pact contains provisions designed to nudge manufacturing back to the US. 

For example, it requires that 40 per cent to 45 per cent of cars eventually be made in countries that pay autoworkers at least $16 an hour – that is, in the United States and Canada and not in Mexico.

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Canada, Mexico and America have all agreed to the fresh overhaul. The deal will need to be approved by politicians in all three countries before it takes effect. 

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