Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an agreement with President Trump to allow passage of the United States -Mexico-Canada trade treaty. The USMCA is an updated version of NAFTA, which was ratified in 1994.
“There is no question of course that this trade agreement is much better than NAFTA,” Pelosi told the Associated Press, calling it “infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.”
It is unclear what changes have been made to the USMCA to secure passage in the House, but The Hill reported yesterday that some Republican senators were concerned that the president, desperate for a victory with impeachment looming, gave away too much to the Democrats.
“I just hope he hasn’t gone too far in Speaker Pelosi’s direction, and the AFL-CIO’s direction that he might lose some support here,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “My concern is that what the administration presented has now been moved demonstrably to Democrats, the direction that they wanted.”
“I mean if they got the unions my assumption is that there are going to be a lot of things that were changed from the last time we’ve seen anything on this,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) agreed. “So yeah, I think there’s a potential that you could have in their … desire to try to satisfy Democrats in the House, labor unions cost you some Republican support depending on what those changes are.”
On Twitter, President Trump lauded Democrats for supporting the USMCA and called NAFTA “our country’s worst trade deal.”
In reality, the USMCA is an update to NAFTA which leaves much of the old trade agreement intact. The new treaty includes agreements on e-commerce, intellectual property, and mechanisms to resolve disputes among other things.
“There are those who I read about in one place or another that say, ‘why would you give President Trump a victory?’” Pelosi said at a corporate event on Monday. “Well, why wouldn’t we? This is the right thing to do for our trade situation, for our workers.”
If Nancy Pelosi is excited about revising a very successful free trade deal, I can’t help but worry.