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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 PelosiDemocrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit Maria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack MORE said earlier Thursday. 

“I wouldn’t say imminent but getting closer,” said Rep. Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsOmar feuds with Jewish Democrats Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' Democrats plot next move after GOP sinks Jan. 6 probe 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 LighthizerBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Whiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' 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 JeffriesDemocrats seek staffer salary boost to compete with K Street Congress tiptoes back to normality post-pandemic White House to Democrats: Get ready to go it alone on infrastructure 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 TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report MORE a significant win. Trump made replacing NAFTA a central part of his 2016 election campaign.