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 TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir 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 PaulsenPass USMCA Coalition drops stance on passing USMCA Two swing-district Democrats raise impeachment calls after whistleblower reports Hopes dim for passage of Trump trade deal 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 ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns 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 McConnellFormer senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Democrats step up pressure over witnesses after Bolton bombshell Bolton book alleges Trump tied Ukraine aid freeze to Biden investigations: NYT 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 PelosiFormer senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Democrats step up pressure over witnesses after Bolton bombshell Texas AFL-CIO endorses Cuellar's primary challenger MORE (D-Calif.), on the other hand, told her caucus earlier in the week that “we stayed on this and we ate their lunch.”