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USMCA deal close, but not 'imminent,' Democrats say

USMCA deal close, but not 'imminent,' Democrats say
© Greg Nash

Democrats say a deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is close, but not “imminent,” as House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack Do Democrats really want unity? MORE said earlier Thursday. 

“I wouldn’t say imminent but getting closer,” said Rep. Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsDemocrats poised to impeach Trump again Capitol Police say reports of officer's death are wrong Pro-Trump mob overruns Capitol, forcing evacuation MORE (D-Minn.).

“I can tell you, I am amongst a lot of Democrats who want to see it brought to the floor before the end of the year,” he added. 

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Earlier in the day, Pelosi said a deal on the replacement United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) was just around the corner

“I do believe that if we can get this to the place it needs to be, which is imminent, that this can be a template for future trade agreements, a good template,” she said at her weekly press conference.

But despite further calls scheduled with U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerBob LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE, details on enforcement provisions and labor remained unfinished, according to Democrats briefed on the status of negotiations Tuesday evening

“We have consistently said that we want to get to yes on the USMCA, but there are four issues that need to be resolved,” said Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesUS Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots Lawmakers mount pressure on Trump to leave office Sunday shows - Capitol siege, Trump future dominate MORE (D-N.Y.), pointing to enforcement, labor, environment and pharmaceuticals.  

“Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to,” he added. 

Pelosi said her goal was to reach agreement and pass the deal in the final weeks of 2019.

A deal would give both Democrats and President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE a significant win. Trump made replacing NAFTA a central part of his 2016 election campaign.