Democrats lead the way on trade

Wednesday, 11 Dec, 2019

For example, it requires that 40% to 45% of cars eventually be made in countries that pay autoworkers at least $16 an hour _ that is, in the United States and Canada and not in Mexico.

House Democrats and the White House announced a deal on a modified North American trade pact, handing President Donald Trump a major Capitol Hill win Tuesday on the same day that impeachment charges were announced against him.

"America's great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a December 9 tweet said, "I spoke with @POTUS this evening about the continued progress made on the new NAFTA, and the jobs & opportunities it will create for people on both sides of the border".

In a bid to comply with its commitments under the new deal, which was signed in November 2018, Mexico has raised its minimum wage and passed labor reforms to give unions more power and workers more say in running them.

On May 18, 2017, Lighthizer informed Congress that President Trump meant to commence negotiations with Canada and Mexico with respect to NAFTA.

Pelosi did say Democrats are hoping to get moving before the end of the congressional session on December 20.

Ebrard told reporters on Sunday he briefed the nation's Senate on the position of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's government to reject a USA demand for American labor inspectors south of the border.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland - the country's lead negotiator - was also headed to Mexico for meetings on the pact, her office told AFP. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said, "we're watching the political impeachment the founders warned about in real time".

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal said completion of the deal came after a round of intense discussions and phone calls between key parties over the weekend.

House Democrats have announced they will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Portman, a Cincinnati-area Republican who served as U.S. Trade Representative during George H.W. Bush's presidency, called the long-awaited agreement "a significant improvement" over the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, that it would replace.

Details still need to be finalized and the U.S. Trade Representative will need to submit the implementing legislation to Congress.

Neal said he will travel to Mexico with the US delegation to meet with the president of Mexico and from there to Canada to meet with the prime minister.

Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar, whose district in Texas is near the U.S. -Mexico border, said Tuesday the House is planning to vote on the deal next week. "And there's some people who said 'why make it look like he has a victory.' We're declaring a victory for the American worker", she said. President Trump tweeted earlier in the morning.

Reports indicate Mexico has accepted - with a five-year phase-in period - a US demand to tighten the definition of North American steel in a section of the agreement dealing with where cars and their parts can be said to originate.

Vice-President Mike Pence, a foot soldier in the administration's campaign to sell the accord, said Pelosi had "acquiesced" in slating the pact for a vote this year.

"For the first time, there truly will be enforceable labor standards", including a process allowing for inspections of factories, said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.