Hundreds of guests were invited to attend the ceremony, including U.S. workers, farmers, CEOs, lawmakers, and officials from Mexico and Canada. Democratic leaders who negotiated with the administration for months over the revision and helped secure the House passage, however, were absent.
Leaders of the three countries signed the USMCA in Argentina on the sidelines of the G20 summit in late 2018, and the agreement needs to be ratified by lawmakers in each country before it could be implemented.
U.S. House Democrats and the administration had negotiated for months over issues including labor and environmental enforcement, as well as pharmaceutical provisions before finally reaching an agreement in December 2019. The House approved a bill to implement the revised USMCA with a 385-41 vote.
Two weeks ago, the measure passed the Senate in an 89-10 vote, before being sent to President Trump for signing into law.
Mexican lawmakers have already approved the deal, but it still needs to be ratified by Canada's parliament before it can take effect. The deal is set to replace the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
While the Trump administration has touted the USMCA as pro-growth, a recent analysis published by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) showed that the deal is "a net negative" for all three economies.
The USMCA modernizes trading rules and strengthens the enforcement of labor and environmental rights, but its restrictions on auto trade and investment and on auto production "will hurt U.S. industry," said PIIE trade economists Mary Lovely and Jeffrey Schott, authors of the analysis.
"The Trump administration's stated goal was to ensure that more of the vehicles will be produced in North America. But the outcome will be just the opposite," the economists said.