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Nancy Pelosi defends House Dems backing USMCA

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) (L), speak during a news conference on the USMCA trade agreement, on Capitol Hill
Nancy Pelosi and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal speak on the USMCA trade agreement, Dec. 10. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended her statement on Tuesday at a Politico event that House Democrats would back the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), stressing the decision "isn't about politics and giving the president a win."

The big picture: Pelosi claimed that Democrats helped to secure a better agreement than the original draft, despite her expectation that Trump would take credit for the final version, she explained at Politico's Women Rule Summit.

What she's saying:

  • “I don't think any one of us is so important — including the president of the United States — that if we have an opportunity to advance the well-being of America's workers, America's farmers and America's manufacturers, America's interests, that if we have an opportunity to do the right thing by the American people that we should walk away from it because of him? It's just not worth it, in my view.”
  • “We are so far away from the proposal that he put forth that this is a triumph for American workers. We are miles and miles from what he put forth, so he has yielded on what this is."
  • "We certainly wouldn't miss any opportunities because of the president, occupant in the White House ... if he has collateral benefit, so be it."

What to watch: Negotiating teams from the three countries will meet in Mexico City Tuesday afternoon to announce the changes and likely participate in a signing ceremony, according to Politico. Pelosi intends to bring a vote in the House next week before lawmakers depart for December recess.

Go deeper: The trade deal that might survive impeachment