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 GrassleyThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces White House denies exploring payroll tax cut to offset worsening economy Schumer joins Pelosi in opposition to post-Brexit trade deal that risks Northern Ireland accord MORE (R-Iowa) said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE should tread lightly in his effort to persuade Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi11 Essential reads you missed this week Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Is there internet life after thirty? 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 LighthizerOn The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Chinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead MORE to discuss the trade agreement. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealDemocrats push judge for quick action on Trump tax returns lawsuit Trump argues NY tax return case should take place in DC NY files motion to keep Trump tax returns lawsuit out of DC court 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.