Siding with unions, House Democrats say USMCA is not ready

House Democratic leaders dashed hopes Tuesday that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade is nearly ready for a floor vote.

“Today, we met with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and reviewed progress in House Democrats’ USMCA negotiations with the U.S. Trade Representative,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal said in a joint statement. “We can reach an agreement on USMCA when the Trade Representative makes the new NAFTA agreement enforceable for America’s workers.”

The announcement walked back a statement by Pelosi last week that said a vote could be “imminent.” House Democrats and Trump administration officials, led by the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, have been negotiating for months to create a compromised version of the USMCA deal. Democrats have repeatedly said they want stronger enforcement of the trade deal’s labor provisions. USMCA would replace the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement.

Many Democrats are waiting on the labor movement to signal that it was OK to vote for the deal. Trumka, leader of the nation’s largest labor federation, has pushed back against reports that a deal was near. “Our allies on Capitol Hill understand that getting this done right is more important than getting it done fast. So, until the administration can show us in writing that the new NAFTA is truly enforceable with stronger labor standards, there is still more work to be done,” he said in a speech Monday at the Maryland State and DC AFL-CIO’s 32nd Biennial Convention.

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Author: Washington Examiner