Skip to main content

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said 'we need to see our progress in writing from the Trade Representative for final review.'

The Associated Press

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that a version of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement that House Democrats could back was “within range” but that they needed to conduct a final review.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been pushing for the congressional passage of USMCA, which would replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump has repeatedly accused Democrats of stalling a vote on the accord to avoid granting him a political win.

“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 said in a statement.

Story continues below advertisement

House Democrats have voiced concerns over the enforcement of labor and environmental provisions. Labor unions have publicly voiced opposition to the accord amid worry that it will not protect U.S. jobs.

Mexico’s government increased pressure on Democratic lawmakers on Monday to approve the trade deal and rejected demands for more labor market oversight.

Mexico, which has already ratified the USMCA, is eager for the trade accord’s approval because the country’s exports and foreign direct investment are dependent on unfettered access to the U.S. marketplace.

Canada has held back on ratifying the accord because Ottawa says it wants to move in tandem with the United States.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would this week send another letter to Ms. Pelosi, a Democrat, pressing for the ratification of the three-nation deal agreed last year known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“I’m sure that Mrs. Pelosi and the lawmakers of the Democratic Party are going to help us,” Mr. Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference, saying he believed the U.S. Congress would approve the deal before the end of 2019.

Mexico also wrote to Ms. Pelosi last month.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Lopez Obrador said his understanding was that both Trump, who had pushed for the deal, and Republican lawmakers agreed the USMCA should be ratified soon.

Still, standing alongside Mr. Obrador, Jesus Seade, deputy foreign minister for North America and the Mexican official in charge of USMCA negotiations, said he was “pessimistic” the accord would be approved by U.S. lawmakers before 2020.

“Far from reaching a deal, in the last two weeks, statements from certain labour sectors have re-emerged, floating ideas that would be totally unacceptable to Mexico,” Mr. Seade said.

Enforcement remained a bone of contention, Mr. Seade said, noting that there were those on the U.S. side seeking to impose “more intrusive” mechanisms to bind Mexico.

“We told them we won’t accept that,” he said.

The USMCA was agreed after a lengthy negotiation to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies