WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Both Republicans and Democrats say Congress needs to get moving on the US–Mexico–Canada Trade Agreement, but there continue to be roadblocks.
On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she doesn’t think Congress has enough time left in the year to vote on the new trade deal, which would replace NAFTA.
Even Democratic lawmakers like New York’s Anthony Brindisi say party leaders need to get on the ball and get the deal done to help farmers and manufacturers in his state and around the country.
“We’ve got to get it over the finish line,” Congressman David Trone said.
Trone, D-Maryland, says it’s time for Congress to pass the USMCA to protect American workers and manufacturers.
“It would be wonderful to hold those manufacturing jobs while we can and compete fairly,” he added.
Congressman Tom Reed, R-New York, says it would bring major relief to his district.
“Our dairy farmers and our farmers in Western New York need it immediately,” he said.
The USMCA was signed nearly a year ago but Congress has yet to finalize the deal for the U.S. Pelosi says before that happens, changes must be made.
“We have a responsibility to drastically improve the situation, that is to say, make it real. Not just NAFTA with sugar on top,” she said.
“Mexico has to have strong enforcement mechanisms in place,” Brindisi said, adding that that’s the current sticking point.
“Make sure that companies don’t just pick up shop here in the U.S. and move down to Mexico and pay workers a whole lot less than they’re paying workers here in this country,” he explained.
There’s an appetite to get the trade deal done, according to Pelosi, but she doesn’t think Congress will get to it before the holidays.
“Mexico and Canada are calling, saying, ‘What’s going on?’ and it’s sitting on her desk,” President Donald Trump said.
Trump and other GOP members claim Pelosi is too focused on other things.
“The speaker won’t bring this up simply because she’s too busy with impeachment,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
Just 10 legislative days remain on the calendar for Congress to finalize the deal before the end of the year.