USMCA passage reportedly unlikely before fall

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USMCA passage reportedly unlikely before fall

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), otherwise known as the new NAFTA, saw progress when Mexico became the first nation to ratify it last month, yet the Trump administration has hit a snag in delivering the revised deal to Congress, said The Monitor.

With just a few weeks before the Capitol's August recess, it does not appear likely that the U.S. Congress will pass a new deal before then, the publication explained.

“I don’t see how that happens in three weeks,” it quoted U.S. Rep. Earl Blumeanauer, saying.

Though all three countries signed the proposed USMCA at a summit in Argentina late last year, the congressional bodies of both the U.S. and Canada still need to pass it.

Additionally, the publication noted that some U.S. Congress leaders are getting antsy.

“When do you expect the administration will send us that agreement to begin voting on?” It quoted U.S. Senator John Cornyn asking U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in June during a Congressional hearing.

At the time, Lighthizer didn’t provide a date, but said progress had been made.

“My hope is that over the next couple of weeks we can make substantial progress,” it quoted Lighthizer commenting. “I believe we’re on track.”

Still, that process has slowed, and with the August recess looming, any vote before then is unlikely, said the publication.

Moreover, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has voiced concerns about the renegotiation process.

She has said she’s tried to fend off the Trump administration’s chief trade negotiator, Lighthizer, from infusing the 2020 presidential election into the renegotiation.

Pelosi elaborated on the matter at a press conference before the House adjourned for the July 4 recess.

“Lighthizer has said, ‘We just don’t want to get this into the presidential.’ And I say, ‘These presidential candidates...I think most of them probably would want a better NAFTA,’” the publication quoted Pelosi saying.

She added that House Democrats have had some concerns about some of the substance of the agreement.

“We do not want to pass this agreement just slightly different from NAFTA with a little sugar on top and say, ‘See, we did something different.’”

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