Tech industry pushes Congress to pass Trump's North American trade pact

Tech industry pushes Congress to pass Trump's North American trade pact
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The U.S. tech industry is pushing Congress to pass President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE's revised North American trade pact, arguing the stalled legislation would modernize trade law to accommodate the digital economy.

A broad coalition of tech trade groups in a letter Monday argued the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rewrite includes language that would "set a new, global standard for rules that will benefit digital trade and e-commerce."

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The industry effort comes as lawmakers return to Washington this week from their August recess.

"NAFTA 2.0," also known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), is one of Trump's top legislative priorities for the fall. Democrats have refused to take up the trade deal without measures to strengthen some of its labor and environmental standards.

Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPence says it's 'vital' for Congress to pass US-Mexico-Canada trade deal The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California Obama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' MORE of California, have expressed concerns that the USMCA does not go far enough in protecting U.S. workers and the environment. They've also argued the legislation could raise drug prices for consumers.

The tech industry, meanwhile, has rallied behind the USMCA by backing the provisions that offer intellectual property and data protections.

The signatories of Monday's letter include the Internet Association, which represents Facebook, Google and Amazon; the Consumer Technology Association; the Computing Technology Industry Association; and the Information Technology Industry Council.

"Passing the USMCA would be a significant step not only towards guaranteeing the leadership of North America in the global digital economy, but also towards establishing a worldwide framework to address the challenges confronting global access and usage of digital trade," the trade groups wrote.

The tech industry's support for the USMCA comes amid opposition from other stakeholders such as labor unions.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump at a pivotal crossroads on Iran Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn't want war with Iran | Pentagon chief calls attack on Saudi oil facilities 'unprecedented' | Administration weighs response | 17th US service member killed in Afghanistan this year Iran: Rouhani, Trump won't meet at United Nations MORE told Fox Business Network on Monday that passing the trade deal is at "the top of our agenda."

In a statement, the Internet Association's director of trade policy, Jordan Haas, said, "The time is now for Congress to pass USMCA, a trade agreement that reflects our 21st century economy."