Business groups press Congress on new NAFTA as impeachment threatens deal

Business groups press Congress on new NAFTA as impeachment threatens deal
© MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

Business groups are continuing to push Congress to pass President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE’s trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), despite Democrats’ attention turning toward impeachment.

“The American people expect their elected officials to walk and chew gum at the same time,” Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told The Hill in a statement.

He added, “It is imperative for our economy that lawmakers and the administration keep moving forward on and complete enactment of USMCA. There are no excuses for inaction.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden on impeachment: 'I'm the only reason' it's happening Democrats to offer resolution demanding Trump reverse Syria decision Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter MORE (D-Calif.) told reporters Thursday that she is moving ahead on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and hopes to be on a path to "yes," easing worries over passage following increased lobbying efforts this summer.

The Chamber led a letter to Congress in July, which included more than 600 signatures from business groups, touting the benefits of USMCA. The business lobby group has also spearheaded the USMCA Coalition along with the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Association of Manufacturers, among others.

Pelosi created a Trade Working Group in June and U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerOn The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Chinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead MORE has been negotiating with House Democrats for months.

The National Retail Federation, the largest retail trade association in the U.S., is hopeful that work on the deal will speed up.

“We appreciate the work between the House Working Group and USTR to address the key issues in USMCA for the Democrats. We understand that work will continue and hopefully speed up to a final resolution,” Jonathan Gold, the group's vice president of supply chain and customs policy, told The Hill in a statement.

Gold added that they will continue to call on Congress to pass the deal to provide certainty for the North American market.

The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs from major U.S. corporations, led a group of about 100 business community leaders around Capitol Hill in July to push for passage.

“Passing implementing legislation for USMCA is a top legislative priority for Business Roundtable to boost North American trade that supports over 12 million American jobs,” spokeswoman Jessica Boulanger told The Hill.

She added, “We appreciate the continued commitment of Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to getting USMCA across the finish line this year.”