Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcConnell: ‘Over the top’ Moscow Mitch nickname effort to ‘smear’ me The Hill’s Morning Report – US coastline readies for Hurricane Dorian to make landfall Congress set for chaotic fall sprint MORE (D-Calif.) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauHas the G-7 outlived its usefulness? Trump argued with other G-7 leaders at private dinner over inviting Putin: report Trump takes topsy-turvy show to international stage MORE spoke Tuesday to discuss progress on negotiations over the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), President TrumpDonald John Trump Poll: 40 percent of voters don’t think Trump will win reelection Mattis: ‘I’ll speak out’ about policy issues ‘when the time comes’ China contests Trump claim it is fentanyl source MORE’s revamped NAFTA deal.
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Pelosi updated Trudeau on the discussions between the U.S. Trade Representative and the USMCA working group, a contingent of House Democrats tasked with addressing the party’s concerns with the plan. The apprehensions primarily focus on the deal’s labor provisions and environmental protections, among other issues.
“Speaker Pelosi gave PM Trudeau an update on the progress of the USMCA Working Group’s discussions with the USTR during August, reiterating Democrats key concerns of labor standards, prescription drug prices, environmental protections and concrete enforcement mechanisms,” a Pelosi spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.
“The Speaker emphasized that Democrats are especially concerned with enforcement of the Agreement and Mexico continuing to implement labor standards and other key commitments,” the spokesperson added. “PM Trudeau and the Speaker agreed to stay in touch as progress continues.”
Trudeau tweeted that he was “looking forward to our continued work on this” and that the deal would “support good, middle class jobs and create opportunities for people on both sides of the border.”
The conversation comes less than a week before Congress reconvenes from its August recess, when the trade deal is expected to be hotly debated.
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFEMA chief: Transfer of agency funds for immigration ‘not affecting our preparedness whatsoever’ Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to take up background check bill after Texas shooting Schumer seeks vote on bill reaffirming support for democracy in Hong Kong MORE (D-N.Y.) told reporters last month that there is no “deadline” for a vote on the USMCA but acknowledged that reaching an agreement could prove difficult as the 2020 election looms closer.
“The closer we get to the next election, the harder it is. Speaker Pelosi and I are united … and we believe that you need strong and enforceable labor protections in this bill, as well as environmental protections,” he said. “If that doesn’t happen, there won’t be a bill, plain and simple.”