USMCA Takes Another Step Forward in 25-3 Senate Committee Vote
The United States Senate Finance Committee today considered the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in an Open Executive Session and voted 25 to 3 to move the bill forward.
The USMCA enjoys wide bipartisan support, but Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) voted against the bill. Toomey and Cassidy objected largely to process issues, as the Committee was not allowed to present amendments under a fast-track process, while Whitehouse was critical of the agreement’s lack of urgency on climate change. President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached agreement on the USMCA, which would, if ratified, replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), on December 10. Notably for the IP community, the new version struck down provisions that would have expanded regulatory data protection for biologics inventions from five years in Mexico and eight years in Canada to 10 years in both countries.