By Valley Ag Voice Staff

In a vote that very clearly appeared to be influenced by the Presidential campaign, the USMCA finally passed the US Senate on January 15th on a vote of 89 ayes and 10 nays.  California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris voted differently.  Harris along with Senators Booker and Sanders voted against USMCA, while Senator Elizabeth Warren, the other major candidate for President, voted yes.

Senator Diane Feinstein showed great leadership in voting for USMCA. Her comments highlighted the clear benefits that USMCA will provide to those in agriculture: 

“I voted yes on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement because I believe it will benefit California and the United States. It’s an improvement over the first NAFTA that I voted against in 1993. Its provisions on labor, the environment, and agriculture are greatly improved. There are several provisions in the agreement that will help California, including $300 million to address pollution from the Tijuana River, greater access to Canadian agricultural markets, including dairy, and labor provisions that go far beyond past
trade agreements.”

Climate change appeared to be a major topic for those who voted against USMCA.  However, Senator Feinstein showed a great understanding of the common sense needed in passing the USMCA.  Senator Feinstein stated, “I recognize that some critics think we can do more to protect the environment and fight climate change, and I agree. But this agreement takes important steps in that area. In addition to fighting pollution along the southern border, the agreement prevents illegal and unregulated fishing and makes it easier for countries to issue regulations in the
public interest.”

USMCA, a largely bi-partisan measure that was negotiated by President Trump, passed with Republican and Democrat votes in the house, and it passed the Senate by such wide margin it highlights the importance of this measure.  Feinstein added, “I think it’s notable that this agreement has broad bipartisan support, a sign that Congress can still work together to get important things done.”

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