Grassley signs USMCA, sending it to Trump's desk

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyAnother voice of reason retires Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not 'rehash' 2020 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 TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift 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 PelosiJudge to hear Trump's case against Jan. 6 committee in November Kamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech GOP lawmaker calls for Meghan, Harry to lose royal titles over paid leave push 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 BluntIt's time to make access to quality kidney care accessible and equitable for all Hartzler pulls in 6,000 for Missouri Senate bid with .65M on hand McConnell gets GOP wake-up call 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 SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Study finds Pfizer vaccine almost 91 percent effective for 5 to 11 year olds The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Democratic frustration with Sinema rises MORE (I-Vt.) voted against it, while businessman Tom SteyerTom SteyerYouth voting organization launches M registration effort in key battlegrounds Overnight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline 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.