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Upstate Representatives Praise USMCA

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSKG) - The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, clearing a major hurdle towards approving a new North American trade deal.

Before it recessed for the holidays, the House made a strong bipartisan vote to ratify the USMCA in the same week it pushed through articles of impeachment and a two spending packages to fund the government.

Democratic Representative Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) was part of the working group that helped forge the USMCA. He believes stipulations that Democrats inserted into the legislation require minimum wages for some Mexican workers will help keep manufacturing jobs in his upstate district.

"It's going to be good for manufacturing and ultimately it's good for workers because there are stronger protections in place from companies leaving and going down to Mexico," Brindisi said.

Republican Tom Reed (NY-23) touted that the deal will break down trade barriers, making it easier for dairy farmers in his southern tier district to export to Canada.

“This is a win for the American people,” Reed said. “In particular the American dairy farmers in my humble opinion. And those dairy farmers of western New York that will now access the Canadian market in an unprecedented way."

The bill now heads to the Senate where it’s likely to be taken up in the new year.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.