House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Monday the Donald Trump administration and Democrats are “within range” of a compromise enabling passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Pelosi said in a statement, ‘“We are within range of a substantially improved agreement for America’s workers. Now, we need to see our progress in writing from the Trade Representative for final review.”
Pelosi and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) sat down with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last week to discuss the final hurdles surrounding the USMCA. The House Speaker said an updated USMCA draft needed stronger enforcement mechanisms.
“The NAFTA 2.0 draft lacked the concrete, effective enforcement mechanisms needed to ensure that the agreement became more than a list of promises on paper,” she contended.
Pelosi has faced increasing pressure within her own caucus and from other politicians to pass the USMCA.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the Mexican government will send a letter to Pelosi this week, urging Congress to approve the USMCA.
In the past few weeks, Pelosi has previously said that a deal on the USMCA was “imminent;” however, she admitted last week that she remains unsure on whether the House can pass the USMCA in 2019.
“I’m not even sure if we came to an agreement today that it would be enough time to finish [this year], but just depends on how much agreement we come to,” Pelosi said.
“I’m eager to get this done,” the California Democrat said.
The USMCA’s delayed passage through the House arises as Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) have launched an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
Pelosi has faced increasing pressure from moderate Democrats to pass the USMCA as the moderates face criticism from their constituents over their backing of the impeachment inquiry.
“I keep telling the freshman class: ‘This is about legislation. It takes time,’” Pelosi said, attempting to reassure frustrated Democrats.