GOP senator warns Trump not to pressure Pelosi on new NAFTA

GOP senator warns Trump not to pressure Pelosi on new NAFTA
© Getty Images

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report Senate begins preparations for Trump trial Big Pharma looks to stem losses after trade deal defeat MORE (R-Iowa) said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' MORE should tread lightly in his effort to persuade Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public Schiff huddles in Capitol with impeachment managers Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (D-Calif.) to move forward with a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“It's very necessary that the president hold his patience, because nothing's going to happen if Pelosi doesn't want it to happen,” Grassley said, referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

ADVERTISEMENT

House Democrats in recent months have engaged in a series of meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerGOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House MORE to discuss the trade agreement. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealConservative groups aim to sink bipartisan fix to 'surprise' medical bills Treasury watchdog to investigate Trump opportunity zone program House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate MORE (D-Mass.) said he expects his panel to take up the deal in September or October.

Congressional Democrats are seeking changes to aspects of the trade deal — enforcement, environment, labor and pharmaceuticals — before they approve the accord.

Grassley raised concerns that Trump might blow up the trade deal if “some protectionists in the White House want to force the issue.”

“So somebody there in the White House that doesn't have common sense better not push the president to do something erratic,” Grassley said.

In the past, Grassley has threatened to set aside the deal if Trump follows through on certain tariff increases. The Iowa Republican successfully pressured the White House to strike a deal lowering steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico.