Lawmakers debate fate of Mexico, Canada deal


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Despite months of negotiations, lawmakers have yet to vote on the United States Mexico Trade Canada Agreement, which would replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement known as NAFTA.

The Trump Administration says the new deal will spur economic growth for farmers and bring manufacturing jobs back to the auto industry.

However, Democrats and a top Republican senator say they are not sold yet.

“The USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) equals jobs and opportunities for Illinois and across the country,” said Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Illinois.

House Republicans like LaHood are ready to pass the Trump administration’s deal.

“This is a good agreement,” LaHood said. “We’re ready for (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi to start the clock on this.”

However, Pelosi says she’s not calling a vote until Mexico’s labor laws and other issues are addressed.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, agrees the plan isn’t ready.

“This renegotiation was good for the drug and oil companies, but it’s not done what it needs to for workers,” Brown said.

The United States International Trade Commission says the plan will grow gross domestic product or GDP by less than one percent and create about 176,000 new jobs. However, the Trump Administration’s projections are a bit more optimistic.

“It’s going to be a win for American workers and American jobs,” said Vice President Mike Pence.

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, says he’s not taking the vice president’s word for it.

“You have to collect all the facts and look at the nonpartisan objective analysis,” Peters said.

Democrats aren’t the only ones slow-walking the deal.

Top Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley gave the administration an ultimatum to get rid of the steel and aluminum tariffs or the USMCA dies. The Iowa senator says the negotiations are still ongoing.

The Trump Administration says passing the USMCA will continue to be a top priority.

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