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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Senate is expected to vote on a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada after the new year.

Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey has blasted the USMCA as a step backwards from the deal it replaces, NAFTA. But he appears to be the only Republican holdout. Indiana’s Mike Braun says he understands conservative complaints, but says they’re misplaced. 

Changes the White House made to win over House Democrats include dropping a provision giving drug companies additional years of patent protection in Mexico and Canada for biologic drugs like Eli Lilly’s anti-arthritis medication Olumiant. Braun says he’s been arguing for health care reform that will bring costs down, and doesn’t have a problem with the change.

And Braun says the deal will be a big win for agriculture, tearing down barriers for Indiana farmers and beekeepers to sell products in Canada and Mexico.

Toomey is the only Republican senator to come out against the U-S-M-C-A. Mexico had objected to some late changes, but says it’s back on board after a letter from the U-S trade representative clarifying the deal. But Canada’s parliament still hasn’t voted, and may not until after the Senate does. Opposition parties there are demanding more changes.

(Photo: Tomi Mhalek/Getty Images)