New trade agreement great news for Laredo

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - It's official: the United States, Mexico, and Canada are closer to getting a new trade deal that will replace NAFTA.

According to Congressman Henry Cuellar, the new deal is similar to NAFTA, but with a new twist.

Some of the changes are meant to bring the agreement into modern times. Some say this is going to allow businesses to thrive.

"We have the certainty that we can invest in our warehouses, in our businesses,” said Edgardo Pedraza. “We can have more people working with us. We can grow in our businesses."

Edgardo Pedraza, a licensed custom broker, who heads the Asociación de Agentes Aduanales de Nuevo Laredo, says the news of the new deal are reassuring for our area.

As representatives for the U.S., Mexico, and Canada sign modifications for the USMCA agreement in Mexico City just hours after the speaker of the house announced an agreement with President Trump.

"We are declaring victory for the American worker and what is in this agreement," Nancy Pelosi said.

Prompting a response from the senate.

"From my perspective, it's not as good as I would have hoped but we'll have to take a look at the whole package," said Mitchel McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader.

House Representative Henry Cuellar, says although it has been tweaked, the new trade deal is pretty familiar. "Ninety five percent is the original NAFTA, but there were some changes dealing with labor, labor enforcement, labor reform, pharmaceuticals, and of course the environment."

This will allow for new tools at our ports of entry moving trade quicker.

"The government is also investing in infrastructure on all the border points,” said Pedraza. “With the modernization of adding to invest on technology on the border, it's a pretty good deal."

The congressman is in talks with the new director for Customs and Border Protection Laredo field office, Randy Howe, to prepare ahead of the new trade deal.

"Tomorrow we meet with CBP, so we are all pushing to make sure that we have the right things at the bridges in the Laredo area to meet the new demands that we are going to get from a new trade agreement."

And adds it's great news for our city.

"Once this agreement is put in place, could possible increase along Laredo five to ten percent a year, which is just amazing."

During the press conference, the Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, mentioned, "The deal goes beyond commercial and economics, because the success of a nation also helps solve the issue of immigration."

For us, here in the U.S. it’s still missing the review of the senate, which majority leader, Mitch McConnell has said they will not take on until after the Christmas break.

Mitch McConnell has also mentioned they will not be voting on the trade agreement until after a possible impeachment trial.