Democrats announce support for revised North America trade pact

Wednesday, 11 Dec, 2019

A trilateral meeting and signing ceremony on the finalized revised agreement is now underway featuring Freeland, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mexico's Undersecretary for North America, Jesús Seade.

"Looking like very good Democrat support for USMCA".

The United States, Mexico and Canada have reached a historic trade deal.

He also explained that the USMCA is expected to create more than 176,000 new jobs while giving a $34 billion boost to the automobile industry, according to International Trade Commission data.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday morning announced the agreement on the pact, handing Trump a major Capitol Hill win on the very same day that Democrats announced their impeachment charges against him.

House Democrats and organized labor have thrown their support behind an updated trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Pelosi took pains to emphasize her party's role in reshaping the deal, insisting Democrats would "never" have accepted the agreement as it was originally forged last fall.

Pelosi said the reworked trade agreement has provisions that are better for the environment and for labor.

"For the first time, there truly will be enforceable labor standards", including inspections of factories, said Richard Trumka, the federation's president, whose endorsement will be crucial to boosting the deal's support in Congress. When a reporter asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) about the "whiplash", she interjected, "and the day is young".

The revamped US-Mexico-Canada Agreement will replace the North America Free Trade Agreement [Nafta], which Mr Trump derided as the "worst deal ever" during his 2016 election campaign. Trump a win on trade would undercut the Democratic side in 2020.

Amid the ongoing House impeachment inquiry, many moderate Democrats were reluctant to return to their districts without having voted on the trade deal.

Mexico, which became an export powerhouse under NAFTA, was the only country to ratify the original USMCA text. The White House and business groups have pushed for ratification in 2019 in part because the lack of an agreement adds to the uncertainty farmers and other businesses face from the administration's trade conflicts around the globe. "It's a triumph for workers everywhere across America". USA farmers got better access to the Canadian dairy market, rules of origin for auto parts became more strict, almost half of automobile parts had to be produced by workers who make at least $16 an hour and digital trade and intellectual property rules were updated, among other provisions. Mr. Seade also said the deal would roll back USMCA rules protecting biologics, a particularly expensive type of prescription drugs, from competition from generic copies for 10 years. "Literally all of them", said one Canadian source speaking on the condition of anonymity.

"There are those who I read about in one place or another that say, 'why would you give President Trump a victory?"' Pelosi said Monday night at a Wall Street Journal event for corporate executives. "If people think that's a huge improvement than I guess they'll be happy with it", Toomey told reporters.

Neal said the negotiations with the administration were "tough". He urged Pelosi to move forward with a vote on the trade deal.

Richard Neal, chair of the U.S. House Ways and Means committee, did not offer a timeline for when the deal will be tabled.