The U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal will probably not pass this year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested at a press conference on Nov. 21.
“Im not even sure, if we came to an agreement today, that it would be enough time to finish, but it just depends on how much agreement we come to,” Pelosi told reporters in Washington.
Sticking points include enforcement, workers rights, and the environment, she said.
“Id like to—Im eager to get this done. I assume—I keep—see people have—we live in a world of instant gratification. Youve got an agreement? Whens the bill coming?” Pelosi said.
“No, theres a lot of writing and conversations with Canada, with Mexico, on the basis of what we might come to agreement on, in terms of a change in the actual treaty and in the actual agreement. So, it will take time to write and then to bring to the floor.”
Pelosi said last week that a breakthrough on the deal could be “imminent.” She and House Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said in a joint statement earlier this week that they met with Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, and reviewed the progress in the USMCA union.
“We can reach an agreement on USMCA when the Trade Representative makes the new NAFTA agreement enforceable for Americas workers,” they said.
On Thursday, Pelosi said: “Just think of yourself as a worker out there whos been affected by trade, felt very betrayed by the – by NAFTA. We have a responsibility to drastically improve the situation, that is to say, to make it real. Not just NAFTA with sugar on top, but a change in the fundamentals of it, so that you have enforceability, so what we say and promise people, we can get a result for them.”
Pelosi noted that she voted for NAFTA but claimed that her vote was “based on sidebars and letters and all that, which were never honored.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) criticized Pelosi after the press conference, arguing Congress could have passed the deal by now if House Democrats werent focused on impeaching President Donald Trump.