May 30, 2019

White House triggers 30-day countdown to pressure Pelosi on NAFTA replacement

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday sent congressional leaders a draft "Statement of Administrative Action" that would allow President Trump to submit his NAFTA replacement — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — to Congress within 30 days.

Why it matters: It's a direct challenge to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who responded by saying that rushing Democrats' review of the USMCA could harm American workers and farmers affected by the deal. "It indicates a lack of knowledge on the part of the Administration on the policy and process to pass a trade agreement," Pelosi said. The decision also follows last week's explosive meeting on infrastructure, during which Trump told Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that Democrats cannot investigate and legislate at the same time.

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