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Pelosi Hands Trump a Victory on Trade

New North American trade deal is imminent
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 10, 2019 10:40 AM CST
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by House Congress members, speaks at a news conference to discuss the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade agreement on Capitol Hill in Washington...   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced agreement on a modified North American trade pact, handing President Trump a major Capitol Hill win on the same day that Democrats announced impeachment charges against him, per the AP. Crediting Democratic negotiators for winning stronger provisions on enforcing the agreement, Pelosi said the revamped United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is "much better" than the North American Free Trade Agreement and "infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration." "This is the right thing to do for our trade situation, for our workers," she said. In a tweet, Trump said the revamped trade pact—his top Capitol Hill priority along with funding for his long-sought border fence—"will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody - Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions."

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico's foreign relations secretary, said the three countries' negotiating teams would meet Tuesday "to announce the advances achieved." NAFTA eliminated most tariffs and other trade barriers involving the US, Mexico, and Canada. Critics, including Trump, labor unions, and many Democratic lawmakers, branded the pact a job killer for the US because it encouraged factories to move south of the border, capitalize on low-wage Mexican workers, and ship products back to the US duty-free. Weeks of back-and-forth, closely monitored by Democratic labor allies such as the AFL-CIO, brought the two sides together, though Trump had accused Pelosi of being too wrapped up in impeachment. More protectionist and labor-friendly, USMCA contains provisions designed to nudge manufacturing back to the US.

(Read more trade deal stories.)

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