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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.

The big picture: Getting Section 230-style language into trade agreements is a big win for the tech industry. It extends the law's protections into other countries, and it makes it harder for U.S. lawmakers to tinker with tech's liability shield. Threats to carve into it have come from both Republicans, who claim tech companies are biased against conservatives, and Democrats, who say platforms aren't doing enough to fight misinformation and hate speech.

What they're saying: Pelosi, who publicly voiced concerns about including the provision last week, said Tuesday she only became aware of it after she promised the Trump administration she wouldn't let additional issues enter into their talks to finalize USMCA.

  • "Unfortunately, I got it after I made the pledge of not moving any goalposts," Pelosi said.

Tech industry groups including the Internet Association and BSA | The Software Alliance praised the digital trade rules in the agreement.

  • "The strong digital provisions in the agreement will benefit businesses of all sizes in every state by helping them reach new markets and customers in Mexico and Canada," IA President Michael Beckerman said in a statement.

Go deeper

Home confinees face imminent return to prison

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Thousands of prisoners who've been in home confinement for as long as a year because of the pandemic face returning to prison when it's over — unless President Biden rescinds a last-minute Trump Justice Department memo.

Why it matters: Most prisoners were told they would not have to come back as they were released early with ankle bracelets. Now, their lives are on hold while they wait to see whether or when they may be forced back behind bars. Advocates say about 4,500 people are affected.

The "essential" committee that still doesn't exist

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Nearly five months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the creation of the bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, it's not been formed much less met.

Why it matters: Select committees are designed to address urgent matters, but the 117th Congress is now nearly one-quarter complete without this panel assembling. When she announced this committee, Pelosi described it as an "essential force" to "combat the crisis of income and wealth disparity in America."

Biden's ethics end-around for labor

President Biden surveys a water treatment plant during a visit to New Orleans today. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is excusing top officials from ethics rules that would otherwise restrict their work with large labor unions that previously employed them, federal records show.

Why it matters: Labor's sizable personnel presence in the administration is driving policy, and the president's appointment of top union officials to senior posts gives those unions powerful voices in the federal bureaucracy — even at the cost of strictly adhering to his own stringent ethics standards.