Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House

Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWe need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Florida Democrat hits administration over small business loan rollout The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Democrats are hopeful of sealing a deal with the Trump administration to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) despite tensions between both sides about the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

“I can honestly say that I think every day we are becoming closer,” Pelosi told reporters at a briefing when asked about the trade deal’s progress.

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“We feel very good about being on a path to yes,” she added.

Her remarks come a day after an extraordinary, contentious White House meeting over the U.S. decision to withdraw from northern Syria that prompted a walkout by Democratic congressional leaders. 

Still, USMCA has remained a priority for both the administration and for Congress. Democrats are pushing for changes to ensure enforceability, along with protections on labor, environment and pharmaceuticals.

Trump’s top trade official, 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, met with House Democratic negotiators on Wednesday and has another meeting planned for Thursday.

Pelosi insisted on Wednesday that she would not block a deal that’s good for American people just because it has “collateral benefit” for Trump, who sees the deal as the accomplishment of a major campaign promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

She has repeatedly said the impeachment inquiry into the president was completely separate from progress on trade.

Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE, the White House’s top economic adviser, also sounded an optimistic note about a deal in an interview with CNBC on Thursday, predicting that the deal would get a vote before the Thanksgiving recess next month.

“Speaker Pelosi has her disagreements with the administration. No question about that,” he said. “Having said that, Speaker Pelosi has been accommodative and accessible and helpful regarding USMCA."