U.S. trade rep says USMCA is a 'better' deal after some labor concessions

U.S. trade rep says USMCA is a 'better' deal after some labor concessions

U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE dismissed the idea of political costs to the administration after some Republicans signaled concern over concessions President Trump made to get Democrats on board with a trade deal with Mexico and Canada. 

“There are always process issues. This bill is better now with the exception of biologics, which is a big exception,” Lighthizer said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” referring to a 10-year data exclusivity period for biologic drugs that was dropped from the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) deal as part of the negotiation. 

“With the exception of biologics, it's more enforceable and it's better for American workers and American manufacturers and agriculture workers than it was before. For sure,” he added. 


Lighthizer also noted that Democrats won the 2018 election to take control of the House. 

He also said his plan was always for USCMA to “be a Trump trade policy.”

“And a Trump trade policy is going to get a lot of Democratic support,” he said. “Remember, most of these working people voted for the president of the United States. These are not his enemies.”

“So what did we concede on? We conceded on biologics. Yes. That was a move away from what I wanted, for sure,” he continued. “But labor enforcement? There's nothing about being against labor enforcement that's Republican.”

But several Republican senators have expressed concern over the deal. 

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyAppeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy MORE (R-Penn.) said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the deal was a “complete capitulation” to speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K Battle heats up for House Foreign Affairs gavel Nearly one-third of US adults expect to lose employment income: Census Bureau MORE (D-Calif.)

Sens. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Pressure builds as UK approves COVID-19 vaccine Biden brushes off criticism of budget nominee Republican frustration builds over Cabinet picks MORE (R-Texas) and John Thunes (S.D.) said last week the deal could be “problematic”