Dec 10, 2019

Nancy Pelosi defends House Dems backing USMCA

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

Go deeper

House Democrats say they'll back USMCA

Richard Neal and Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) announced Tuesday that House Democrats plan to back the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Why it matters: Completing the trade deal, designed to replace NAFTA, is one of President Trump's biggest policy goals for 2019. Democrats' decision to back it — despite unveiling articles of impeachment against the president only an hour prior — highlights how they want something to bring home to their constituents ahead of 2020 as well.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019

Mexicans throw 11th hour curveball at Trump's biggest trade deal

Nancy Pelosi and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal during a news conference on the USMCA trade agreement, Dec.10. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Democrats have a "tentative plan" to vote Thursday on the trade deal President Trump negotiated with Mexico and Canada to replace NAFTA, per a senior House Democratic aide, but Mexican officials are complicating those plans.

Driving the news: "Mexico's top trade negotiator plans to return to Washington ... to express his outrage over language in the U.S. bill to implement the new North American trade agreement," Politico's Sabrina Rodriguez reports.

Go deeperArrowDec 16, 2019

Pelosi loses push to strip tech liability shield from USMCA

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi discusses the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement at a Dec. 10 news conference on Capitol Hill. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

A Tuesday compromise to finalize the new North American trade agreement includes provisions extending the U.S.'s liability shield for online platforms to Mexico and Canada, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's objections.

Driving the news: Pelosi said her "one disappointment" in the deal House Democrats and the White House reached Tuesday on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is the inclusion of language similar to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That measure protects tech companies against lawsuits over user-posted material.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019