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Grassley signs USMCA, sending it to Trump's desk

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOn The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury Finance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday MORE (R-Iowa), the president pro tempore of the Senate, signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Wednesday, sending the trade legislation to President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE for his signature.

Grassley, flanked by GOP senators from major agricultural states, praised Trump for his most significant trade achievement, which fulfills his campaign promise of updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
 
“After three years, we’ve seen some success from his trade policies, and USMC is the best example of this right now,” Grassley said.
 
The legislation passed with strong bipartisan support in the Senate last week by a vote of 89-10, following a 385-41 December vote in the House
 
Democrats came on board after securing stronger labor and environmental enforcement standards, as well as pharmaceutical victories, following months of negotiating with the White House. 
 
The updated deal won the support of some major unions, including the AFL-CIO, though others balked. House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop More hands needed on the nuclear football Sunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.) said the deal, updated with Democratic demands, could be a template for future trade deals as well.
 
USMCA, Grassley noted, was expected to boost GDP growth by .03 percent to .04 percent and add 176,000 jobs.
 
Grassley and the other GOP senators closed ranks around Trump's trade policies, which have often caused consternation and even pushback among congressional Republicans.
 
“This is a significant economic step forward for where we all live, and I think for the country as well,” said Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntTrump impeachment article being sent to Senate Monday The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Senate chaos threatens to slow Biden's agenda MORE (R-Mo.).

“Our No. 1 trading partner is Mexico, our No. 2 trading partner is Canada. We just made an agreement, also, with the third biggest economy in the world, Japan, and the second biggest economy in the world, China," he said, referencing the phase one deal Trump signed with China last week and an initial trade agreement he inked with Japan. Significant tariffs on China remain in place as Trump promises to negotiate a more substantial agreement with China.
 
Trump is expected to sign the USMCA as the Senate continues its impeachment trial.
 
Trade is set to play a significant role in the upcoming election, including the Democratic primary, which kicks off with the crucial Iowa caucuses in less than two weeks. Of the senators still vying for the nomination, only Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBoycott sham impeachment Sunday shows - Biden agenda, Trump impeachment trial dominate Sanders: Senate may use budget reconciliation to pass Biden agenda MORE (I-Vt.) voted against it, while businessman Tom SteyerTom SteyerOn The Trail: The political losers of 2020 Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Late donor surges push election spending projections to new heights MORE also came out against it.
 
 
"If you add up the next 27 countries that Iowa does trade with — add them all together, they still don't equal the trade that Iowa does with Mexico and Canada," she said.