Pelosi to meet with Lighthizer amid trade tensions

Pelosi to meet with Lighthizer amid trade tensions
© Greg Nash

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Pelosi hits Trump, Netanyahu for 'weakness' amid tensions over Omar and Tlaib In Hong Kong, the need for peaceful persistence MORE (D-Calif.) will meet with 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 Wednesday afternoon as the White House faces increasing bipartisan criticism over its aggressive trade policies.

A senior Democratic aide confirmed the meeting, which will take place at 1 p.m., to The Hill.

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Two Democratic sources told Politico, which was the first to report the meeting, that the official topic of the meeting is President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE’s new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada. But the meeting also comes amid an escalating trade war with China, which has resulted in additional tariffs from both sides over the past week.

Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerLiberal Democrat eyes aid cuts to Israel after Omar, Tlaib denied entry Lawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar Israel denies Omar and Tlaib entry after Trump tweet MORE (D-Md.), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealNY files motion to keep Trump tax returns lawsuit out of DC court Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax Senate Dems urge Mnuchin not to cut capital gains taxes MORE (D-Mass.) will also reportedly be at the meeting. 

Lighthizer’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, a successor to the North America Free Trade Agreement, awaits its fate in Congress, where House Democrats, led by Pelosi, threaten to hold up the deal’s ratification over labor concerns and Senate Republicans express skepticism over the deal’s effectiveness while tariffs are still applied to Canada and Mexico.

“I wish him success in the negotiation,” Pelosi told reporters on Monday. “But as I say, we have to use our leverage without antagonizing those who are on our side on this.”

Lighthizer and other administration officials have said they will not reopen the negotiations with the other two signatories. The political window appears to be closing, as a deal of this magnitude is unlikely to gain traction on Capitol Hill as the 2020 presidential race takes up an increasing amount of oxygen.