Trump reportedly has deal with House Democrats on USMCA


The talks will follow a report that US and Mexican trade negotiators reached an agreement making changes to labour enforcement under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) signed past year.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner are due to fly to Mexico City on Tuesday for meetings to try to pin down final details, an administration official told Reuters late Monday afternoon.

Last month, Trumka said that "until the administration can show us in writing that the new NAFTA is truly enforceable with stronger labor standards, there is still more work to be done".

The Democrats announced support for the deal the same day they introduced articles of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump.

Supporters of the deal said it created a powerful regional bloc - a competitive counter to Europe and East Asia - with each NAFTA country taking advantage of its strengths: low-priced manufacturing in Mexico; and high-skilled labour and proximity to cutting-edge research and to customers in the United States and Canada.

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The Canadian government has said it is waiting to ratify the agreement at the same time as the United States.

President Trump and House Democrats had a rare moment of bipartisan agreement Tuesday after lawmakers said they were close to a deal with Big Labor and the White House over a rewrite of the US-Mexico-Canada trade deal.

The deal looks to be headed for a vote in Congress next week, the same period during which the House is slated to vote on the impeachment articles, said global trade lawyer Dan Uzcjo, who expects the Senate to vote on it in the New Year.

Trumka, one of the most powerful US labor leaders, has been a major party to the negotiations, pushing for stronger labor enforcement provisions that ensure Mexican workers are allowed to unionize.

The new deal is sure to stoke anger in some circles, with the Canadian and USA aluminum and automotive industries in particular angry that Mexico had not agreed to tighten the definition of what constitutes North American aluminum like it did with steel.

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In 2018, it added about 223,000 jobs a month, a bit under what it added in 2015 and well under the 251,000 added a month in 2014. But education and health services industries added 74,000 jobs, more than double these industries' additions from October.

"After USMCA is passed by the House, I'm confident the Senate will approve it", said Portman.

When asked by reporters Monday night at a Wall Street Journal event why she would give Trump a win, even as the House is moving to impeach him, Pelosi said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the vote on the trade deal will likely occur after an expected impeachment trial in the Senate.

While a final copy of the updated text has not yet been made public, according to the Democrats, the text of the deal first signed on to by the three countries has been amended in several ways. "It's an improvement. And to the extent that Trumka and labour comes out and says that this is an improvement, I think that that will be unifying". While we appreciate their support, it shouldn't take impeachment backfiring for them to join in putting #AmericaFirst!'

Speaking at the ceremony Freeland said the amendments were reached after a sometimes long and arduous negotiation process, "will make NAFTA better".

Heyman's one-time counterpart - former Canadian ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton - also praised the deal, particularly as it related to Canada's steel and aluminum industries. "But I'm hearing they're doing very well", Trump told reporters. "Good for everybody", Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

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Mrs. Pelosi downplayed the idea that she purposefully stacked the impeachment announcement next to trade, saying the end of the session set up a collision of issues.