Mexico this week became the first of the three signatories of the new US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) to ratify the new trade pact.

Designed to succeed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the deal was signed in November last year following almost two years of deliberations – but still requires ratification by both Canada and the US before it can take effect.

It passed through the Mexican Senate on Wednesday (19 June) with a vote of 114-to-4, concluding the USMCA's legislative process in Mexico.

US President Trump tweeted: "Congratulations to President Lopez Obrador – Mexico voted to ratify the USMCA today by a huge margin. Time for Congress to do the same here!"

USMCA will offer qualifying textiles and apparel, travel goods and footwear originating from the USMCA region duty-free access to the US and Canadian markets.

It also includes new provisions that incentivise greater North American production in textiles and apparel, strengthen customs enforcement, and facilitate broader consultation and cooperation among the three parties. Indeed, a recent report from the US International Trade Commission concluded that the USMCA is a balanced deal for the textile and apparel sector.

Mexico's ratification comes after the country last month approved a new labour bill that paves the way for a complete overhaul of its labour relations.

Strong labour commitments are a key component in the USMCA, and Mexico's reforms will give workers better access to labour justice and greater freedom of association, as well as make it easier for them to form democratic unions.