Mexican president urges Pelosi to get USMCA trade deal approved

Mexican president urges Pelosi to get USMCA trade deal approved
© Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday said he wrote House 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.) a letter asking her to push forward approval of the trade deal negotiated between the United States, Mexico and Canada, he told reporters at his daily news conference.

“There’s agreement, and I took the opportunity to send Mrs Pelosi a letter explaining that it’s in the interest of the three peoples, the three nations, that this deal is approved,” said López Obrador of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

López Obrador has made passage of the USMCA through the U.S. House of Representatives a top diplomatic priority, despite his historical opposition to similar free trade agreements.

The Mexican Senate approved the agreement in June; the House of Representatives and Canadian Parliament have yet to ratify it.

The USMCA would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which López Obrador vehemently opposed from its inception in the early 1990s.

House Democrats have been reluctant to bring up the USMCA, arguing that Mexico needs to do more to enforce its labor laws and that the deal would push up drug prices regionally.

López Obrador in May pushed through a package of labor reforms that tightened Mexico's already-progressive labor laws.

But Democrats have expressed concerns over enforcement of those laws, as Mexico has historically failed to uphold its strict worker protections and López Obrador's austerity rules have gutted his government's ability to enforce regulations.

A delegation of five House Democrats, including Ways and Means Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealCBO: Pelosi bill to lower drug prices saves Medicare 5 billion Mexican president urges Pelosi to get USMCA trade deal approved On The Money: Judge tosses Trump lawsuit over NY tax return subpoena | US, Japan sign trade deals | Trump faces narrowing window for trade deals | NBA sparks anger with apology to China MORE (Mass.), visited López Obrador earlier this week to discuss the country's labor reforms.

"I appreciate today’s positive discussions and hope to see Mexico implement the substantial labor and enforcement reforms necessary to comply with its obligations under the agreement," wrote Rep. Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaMexican president urges Pelosi to get USMCA trade deal approved Lawmakers beat Capitol Police in Congressional Football Game Overnight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument MORE (D-Calif.), a member of the delegation.