Let’s end this year on a positive note, shall we? With news from Washington, no less! Last week, federal lawmakers reached an accord concerning the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The skinny: House Democrats and the Trump administration have agreed to a modified trade deal. The complication: Congress still has to approve it. The agreement, basically a new, improved North American Free Trade Agreement, binds the countries together under a free trade partnership for a period of 16 years.

The deal includes provisions for the auto industry, rules made with the intention of protecting workers and farmers, new digital trade policies, and more. But most importantly: tariffs. The deal will—fingers crossed—provide much-needed stability where tariffs on steel, aluminum, lumber, and other construction materials are concerned.


 

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers said, the agreement will “preserve duty-free market access to our most important trade partners, add more than $68 billion to the U.S. economy, and create 176,000 U.S. jobs.”

In other federal news: