Trump presses Democratic leaders on stalled trade deal at White House

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE and his economic adviser Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE pressed Democratic leaders at a White House meeting Tuesday on moving the stalled U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which faces opposition from labor and environmental groups. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerVA hospitals mostly drop hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment Democrats call on FTC to investigate allegations of TikTok child privacy violations Lawmakers introduce bill to invest 0 billion in science, tech research MORE (D-N.Y.) said Democrats told Trump that the new trade deal needs stronger labor and environmental protection provisions. 


“We talked about we need much more adequate enforcement of labor protections. We brought up the pharmaceutical provision and we brought up environmental protections,” Schumer said. “They were very eager to figure what we needed to pass it.”

The meeting was focused on putting together an infrastructure deal, and Schumer and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers MORE (D-Calif.) described those talks as constructive, saying they'd agreed on a $2 trillion price tag for legislation. The group plans to meet in another three weeks to follow up.

“It was a meeting where both sides really said we want to get something done,” Schumer said. 

But Schumer said that Trump and Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, kept veering off topic to press Democrats for holding up the trade deal — which is supposed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement  — in the House. 

“He went off topic repeatedly. The No. 1 subject he went off topic on was USMCA. They kept asking, Kudlow in particular, who was there, ‘What do you need to pass it,’” Schumer told reporters after the meeting, characterizing the conversation between Trump and Democratic lawmakers. 

Trump, Kudlow, Schumer and Pelosi didn’t get into details about whether the trade deal with Canada and Mexico needs to be reopened or whether it can be adjusted more simply through implementing legislation. 

“We certainly said it has to have adequate enforcement,” Schumer said. “They said, ‘Well, it does now. Labor is on board.’ And we said, ‘No, labor is not on board but open to discussion.'”  

Trump also mentioned immigration and a stalled disaster relief package but he and the Democrats didn’t dwell on those topics. 

The president didn’t bring up special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s more than 400-page report, which has been a source of heated contention between the White House and Democratic lawmakers. 

Trump and Democrats also didn’t talk about House Democratic subpoenas, which the president has vowed to ignore.