(KEYC) — The United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement takes effect July 1 and Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) and Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01) say the revised North American Free Trade Agreement is a welcomed change.
The replacement of the 26-year-old NAFTA between the United States, Mexico and Canada provides a positive impact on multiple industries.
“Trade deals that we engage in ought to be deals that lift up American workers and farmers and business and this deal provides a very important improvement there,” said Smith.
One of those improvements is in the auto industry by mandating that automakers manufacture 40% of motor vehicles in a facility where workers earn at least $16 U.S. per hour.
“This deal says to Mexico, you need to be paying a fair wage to your workers and that’s important, it also says, this also helps American workers, that if we call a product, like a car, made in the United States ‘American Made', we have to up the percentage of that car that’s actually made in the United States,” said Smith.
Hagedorn said that working out trade deals has been on his mind since he stepped into office.
“In order to expand our opportunities, not just for farmers, but for small businesses, medical people, manufacturers and to create high wage jobs,” said Hagedorn.
Hagedorn said he hopes this trade deal will build momentum for deals with other countries.
“It’s been helpful in moving the ball with China, Japan, India, Vietnam, Great Britain in the works, so we’re just going to keep at it,” said Hagedorn.
Both Smith and Hagedorn said there is more to be done.
“Now we have to make sure it gets implemented correctly and there isn’t any backsliding by our partners. We have to continue to stand up for ourselves and our agreements as we go forward,” said Smith.
“We’re just going to have to keep charging ahead, get to where we need to go and I’m not going to quit fighting for them,” said Hagedorn.