Trade

GOP senator warns Trump not to pressure Pelosi on new NAFTA

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Wednesday that President Trump should tread lightly in his effort to persuade Speaker Nancy Pelosi (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).

{mosads}House Democrats in recent months have engaged in a series of meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to discuss the trade agreement. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (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.

Tags Canada Chuck Grassley Donald Trump Mexico Nafta Nancy Pelosi Richard Neal Robert Lighthizer USMCA

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