White House, Democrats Reach Compromise on USMCA
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Congressional Democrats announced Tuesday that they have reached a deal with the Trump administration and Republicans regarding revisions to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The trade deal, which the three nations initially agreed to in November 2018, would fulfill a key campaign promise President Donald Trump made during his campaign to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trump took to Twitter to celebrate the new deal:
In a press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said of the current version of the USMCA:
“It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the Administration and I credit our Chairman Richie Neal for helping us to navigate all of these places. The unity of our caucus on specific priorities in order to get the job done.”
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) added that the compromise marked the conclusion of a contentious process:
“These were intense, argumentative, angry negotiations. I mean this got hot on a number of occasions. I think we set a world record for hanging up on each other, myself and the Trade Rep.”
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is in Mexico City today to sign off on the revised USMCA with Mexican and Canadian officials, released a statement which read:
“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, we have reached an historic agreement on the USMCA. After working with Republicans, Democrats, and many other stakeholders for the past two years we have created a deal that will benefit American workers, farmers, and ranchers for years to come. This will be the model for American trade deals going forward.
Neal said that he expects the legislative text of the revised USMCA will go straight to the House floor for a vote next week without a markup session in the Ways & Means Committee.
Given that next week is expected to be Congress’s final week in session in 2019 and much of next week’s focus will be on preventing a government shutdown on December 21st, the Senate will likely take up the USMCA after the Christmas recess when lawmakers return in January.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: DOD photo by USAF Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos / Public Domain)
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