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 PelosiPelosi scoffs at comparison between Trump and Churchill: 'I think they're hallucinating' Republicans stand by Esper after public break with Trump Pelosi joins protests against George Floyd's death outside Capitol MORE said earlier Thursday. 

“I wouldn’t say imminent but getting closer,” said Rep. Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsHouse passes bill to grant flexibility for small business aid program Bipartisan senators introduce bill to make changes to the Paycheck Protection Program The Memo: Activists press Biden on VP choice 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 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, 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 JeffriesCalls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress Democrats call for Congress to take action following death of George Floyd Harris, Jeffries question why Manafort, Cohen released while others remain in prison 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 John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE a significant win. Trump made replacing NAFTA a central part of his 2016 election campaign.