U.S. House panel approves N. American trade deal, setting up floor vote

WASHINGTON, Dec 17  - The US House Ways and Means Committee approved a revised North American free trade agreement by voice vote on Tuesday, sending the bill implementing legislation to the full House of Representatives for a vote on Thursday.

The panel approved the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement bill one week after senior US, Canadian and Mexican officials signed off on revisions to the deal in Mexico City to improve labor enforcement and reduce drug patent protections -- changes aimed at winning the support of Democrats.

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