Democrats, Trump trade negotiator near deal for trade pact

Fox Business | 11/30/2018 | Staff
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Assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy Peter Navarro argues Nancy Pelosi can have USMCA on the floor in two days.

House Democrats and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are nearing a deal for Congress to pass a modified U.S. trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, though hurdles remain, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

House - Democrats - Mr - Lighthizer - Months

House Democrats and Mr. Lighthizer have been meeting for months to hammer out a deal to amend the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, and have narrowed differences over key sticking points in recent days, the people said. The biggest divide is over revising the agreement on the enforcement of labor rules, a priority for Democrats.

Mexico’s chief trade negotiator, the undersecretary for North America, Jesús Seade, who was in Washington last week, delivered a status update to Mexican senators in Mexico City on Sunday. Afterward Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who attended the meeting, said while the government remains opposed to allowing U.S. inspectors to enforce labor rules in Mexico, he welcomed the use of arbitration panels to resolve disputes over labor standards.

Compromises - Gaps - Spokesman - Mr - Lighthizer

What compromises were offered to bridge the gaps couldn’t be determined. A spokesman for Mr. Lighthizer didn’t return a request for comment. Democrats are reviewing a proposal from Mr. Lighthizer’s office, a person familiar with the negotiations said.

An administration official said, “We are very, very, very close to completion.” When asked about timing, he suggested that work could finish by the Christmas holiday.

President - Trump - Speeches - Tweets - House

President Trump has used speeches and tweets to try to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to take up the agreement. The White House has yet to send the deal to Congress, trying to work out an agreement that would satisfy House Democrats and Mexico.

Mexico’s Senate ratified the agreement earlier this year. House Democrats, however, have held up ratification to demand changes...
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