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Pass USMCA Coalition drops stance on passing USMCA

Pass USMCA Coalition drops stance on passing USMCA
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A business-backed trade group established to back President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has backed off from taking a position on the treaty following compromises made by the White House in its negotiations with House Democrats.

The group, called the Pass USMCA Coalition, objected to changes in the North American trade treaty related to pharmaceuticals, a major concession point sought by Democrats.

“As originally written, USMCA was a win for American workers, businesses, and innovators -- and could have been a model for future agreements,” the group wrote in a statement reacting to the updated deal, which was announced Tuesday.

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“The unnecessary decision to strip certain intellectual property protections is particularly concerning, as it puts American scientists and creators at a serious disadvantage abroad,” it added.

The group boasted a slew of former lawmakers and politicians as its central advocates, including Trump’s former deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn, former House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), and former GOP Rep. Erik PaulsenErik Philip PaulsenMinnesota Rep. Dean Phillips wins primary Pass USMCA Coalition drops stance on passing USMCA Two swing-district Democrats raise impeachment calls after whistleblower reports MORE (Minn.).

But following the release of the compromise deal, which earned the support of the AFL-CIO labor union, the group has backed off the pro-USMCA position in its name.

“The Coalition will not release any more statements and has no position on the USMCA as it's written now,” a spokeswoman for the group told The Hill.

Although the updated treaty is expected to pass with broad bipartisan support, some in the GOP have expressed consternation that the White House had allowed the deal to drift too far to the left.

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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-Pa.) said the deal was worse than the current trade pact with Canada and Mexico, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE (R-Ky.) said of the deal that “it’s not as good as I had hoped.” A meeting to update GOP senators on the specifics of the deal on Thursday left many grumbling that they had been excluded from the process.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE (D-Calif.), on the other hand, told her caucus earlier in the week that “we stayed on this and we ate their lunch.”