Pelosi to meet with Lighthizer amid trade tensions

Pelosi to meet with Lighthizer amid trade tensions
© Greg Nash

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance McCarthy pulls GOP picks off House economic panel GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (D-Calif.) will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerBob LighthizerBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Whiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' 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 TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit 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 HoyerHoyer urges conference talks on bipartisan infrastructure bill Hoyer suggests COVID-19 rules will stay — and might get tougher Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill MORE (D-Md.), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealTreasury starts monthly child tax credit payments Progressives ramp up Medicare expansion push in Congress Democrats propose new deadline in Trump tax returns fight 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.