The United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) should have been finalized a year ago. Canada and Mexico both passed the deal in their respective countries and have been waiting for Washington to act.

Instead of passing this deal — which will have enormous benefit for Northern Wisconsin — in a responsible timeframe, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats held up the agreement.

After House Democrats stalled, the House and Senate finally passed the USMCA. This week, President Trump signed this important trade deal, a victory for all Americans. The USMCA is a much-needed modernization of NAFTA, the trade agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that took effect in 1994.

Republicans and Democrats both agreed that NAFTA encouraged companies to export American jobs in order to use cheap labor, particularly in Mexico. With Mexican labor laws set to change under the USMCA, businesses will not see the same benefits and more jobs will stay in the U.S.

Wisconsin’s dairy industry will also see positive changes under the USMCA. Canada’s policy within the dairy industry artificially inflated prices as Canada sought to keep exports low. As a result, their system stymied American farmers’ ability to sell dairy products to the Canadian market. The USMCA resolves some of the issues with Canada’s complex system, creating a more competitive market and allowing the U.S. to export more dairy goods.

Prior to the USMCA, NAFTA’s product of origin requirements stated that for a product to pass from one country to another without a tariff, 62.5% of the components and labor must come from a NAFTA member. This requirement was abused by nations, like China, which sought ways of shipping their products into Mexico as a means of escaping U.S. duty requirements. The USMCA raises the product of origin standard to 75%. This will hamper abuse by outside nations seeking to sell their products in North America without paying proper duties.

NAFTA also proved outdated with regard to the internet. E-commerce and other tools of the electronic age needed modern language in a new trade deal. The USMCA has more protections for patents and trademarks, including domain names.

President Trump's prioritization of American interests has been helping our economy grow and our industries boom. In one week, the president realigned our trading relationships not only with our northern and southern neighbors, but also with China. President Trump is making sure the U.S. is open for business. He is standing up for American products and workers to make sure our economy thrives.

In Congress, I will work with President Trump to enact more trade deals that benefit American businesses, farmers and consumers on behalf of Northern Wisconsin.

Jason Church is a Republican candidate running to represent Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District.