Time is running out on the House of Representatives to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Agreement. USMCA was negotiated to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and is the first trade agreement to be completed by the Administration.
Passing it will be a strong sign that Congress and the White House can accomplish major priorities together, but it is believed that the votes to do so will be difficult to gather once the 2020 election cycle begins.
“Implementing USMCA tells everyone that the U.S. is capable of following through on trade negotiations and calms some of the tensions surrounding these global disputes. But there aren’t a lot of days left to get it done,” said Kam Quarles, NPC CEO.
In early October, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters that Democrats are “making progress” on the USMCA but they “want to be sure that as we go forward, we are strengthening America’s working families and our farmers who are very affected by this.”
Pelosi went on to say that “We’re on a path to yes,” but she cautioned that “we can’t be there yet” on enforceability. Late last Friday, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) said the Democrat working group and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have “reached agreement on a couple of substantial issues,” but Neal declined to specify which specific issues those are.