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 PelosiRepublicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment Trump chooses high-profile but controversial legal team Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders MORE said earlier Thursday. 

“I wouldn’t say imminent but getting closer,” said Rep. Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsHouse votes to temporarily repeal Trump SALT deduction cap Nearly all Democrats expected to back articles of impeachment First-term Democrats push Amash as impeachment manager: report 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 JeffriesThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to lay out impeachment case to senators next week Seven things to know about the Trump trial House delivers impeachment articles to Senate 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 TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE a significant win. Trump made replacing NAFTA a central part of his 2016 election campaign.