May 30, 2019 / 12:43 PM / a month ago

Mexican Senate should ratify USMCA trade deal 'soon': president

FILE PHOTO: The flag of Mexico changes in front of a large U.S. flag in front of the New York Stock Exchange September 4, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s government will send a new North American trade deal on Thursday to the Senate, which should ratify the accord “soon,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said at a news briefing.

The Senate, controlled by Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and its allies, should approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) once it has passed through congressional committee, the president said.

Ratification of the accord, which was brokered last year to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), would boost investment and help create well-paid jobs, he said.

“There is collective spirit in favor of approving the accord,” Lopez Obrador told his regular morning news conference.

Mexico’s announcement comes a day after Canada moved to ratify USCMA by formally presenting it to parliament on Wednesday ahead of a visit by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

The Mexican Senate is not currently in session, but the government said special periods would be held to pass USMCA.

Lopez Obrador said he was “optimistic” the trade deal, which U.S. President Donald Trump had pushed for, would be approved in the U.S. Congress. The Mexican president said he did not expect major difficulties to arise in its U.S. passage.

Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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