A bipartisan collection of battleground state House members just issued a call for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to call a vote on President Donald Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement — something she has been stalling on for quite some time, Breitbart reported.
Pelosi stalls trade agreement
Three days ago, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted, “Friendly reminder that it’s been nearly a FULL YEAR since President Trump signed
#USMCA with Mexican and Canadian leaders, but Speaker Pelosi has been too busy re-litigating the 2016 election to schedule it for a vote. Hardworking Americans deserve better.”
Pelosi has repeatedly hemmed-and-hawed when asked about the USMCA in news conferences, and her Democratic caucus has been almost exclusively focused on attempting to impeach President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, crucial business — such as the passage of the North American trade deal — sits on the shelf gathering dust.
Trump’s deal, which would replace the outdated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has widespread bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, but Pelosi has been dragging her feet, most likely due to the fact that it would be another “win” for President Trump.
“We request a timely vote on USMCA”
The Problem Solvers Caucus, which consists of 48 Democrat and Republican members, requested Pelosi quit stalling and called for a “timely vote” on the trade measure in a Thursday statement.
“For the good of the American people, and a strong economy, the Problem Solvers Caucus believes both sides of the aisle should find a way to unite together behind the passage of USMCA,” the caucus said. “We applaud the bipartisan efforts of both Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on this important agreement that has the potential to bring NAFTA into the modern era, with added predictability and certainty for business growth.”
“We are proud of the work by labor groups, American workers, the business community, and farmers who continue to be a part of the process in this matter. Given the impact on our economy, we request a timely vote on USMCA,” they added.
Pelosi: Vote could be “imminent”
There has been growing pressure on Pelosi to bring the trade agreement to the floor for a vote, with McCarthy’s tweet and the Problem Solvers Caucus only the most recent additions to that pressure.
It would seem that the Speaker has heard the message, perhaps, as she insinuated in a news conference on Thursday that a vote could be “imminent” — at least by the end of the year — according to a report from CNBC.
Pelosi’s Democrats have been negotiating with Lighthizer’s office to tinker with some of the specifics of the deal, and Pelosi said the two sides were “moving positively” toward a final agreement.
“I do believe that if we can get this to the place it needs to be, which is imminent, that this can be a template for future trade agreements. A good template,” the speaker said.
Granted, Pelosi has said virtually the same thing on prior occasions, so this could simply be more talk as she continues to stall, denying Trump an economic “win” and keeping the focus on impeachment. But given the mounting pressure from all sides for her to act, Pelosi may not be able to hold out much longer. Thank goodness.