UPDATED 4:30 PM PT – Thursday, October 3, 2019
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is reportedly inching closer to the House floor. According to Vice President Mike Pence, the administration is “absolutely determined” to submit the deal sometime this year.
While attending a Hispanic Leaders Roundtable Discussion in Arizona Thursday, Pence said the trade deal is key to “supporting an agenda that’s going to put even more momentum in the economy.”
The USMCA is a trilateral trade agreement meant to replace NAFTA and modernize the North American free trade system. The White House says the policy will develop “better, fairer trade for the American people.”
President Trump said the policy is not getting the attention it deserves because of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. During a Wednesday press conference, he urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “worry about the USMCA.”
“We have to go back to building our country, because 99 percent of Nancy Pelosi’s time is spent on (the impeachment inquiry) this,” said the president. “She should worry about the USMCA — she’s not doing it.”
Earlier the same day, Pelosi said negotiations were underway to pass the deal.
“The president has said that he wants this Mexico-U.S.-Canada trade agreement to go forward and we are awaiting the language on enforceability,” stated the House speaker. “We’re on a path to ‘yes’ as far as the trade agreement is concerned.”
Critics claim Pelosi strategically issued this statement to make Democrats look capable of multitasking during the inquiry. Proponents argue the House may truly be on a path to saying ‘yes’ to President Trump’s USMCA deal.
It is estimated that 176,000 U.S. jobs and another $68 billion in wealth for America are on hold during these negotiations.