North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Key labor leader says rushing NAFTA replacement would be "colossal mistake"

Richard Trumka
Richard Trumka at a rally. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka urged House Democrats not to expedite the approval of a new North American trade deal in the coming weeks, telling the Washington Post in an interview: “If there was a vote before Thanksgiving, the agreement would be defeated."

Why it matters: Trumka has the backing of the 12.5 million member AFL-CIO federation, giving him significant influence on the thinking of House Democrats as they continue to negotiate the Trump-backed United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).

Mnuchin says Pelosi has privately committed to a USMCA vote by October

Pelosi and Steven Mnuchin
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Photos: Mark Wilson; Nicholas Kamm via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been telling colleagues that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has privately assured him she would allow a vote on the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) by October, according to 3 administration officials familiar with the internal conversations. Pelosi's office unequivocally denies that she gave Mnuchin any assurances on timing for a USMCA vote.

Why it matters: The USMCA — the trade deal that President Trump renegotiated to replace NAFTA — is the Trump administration's top legislative priority. Trump has signed the deal, but the law requires Congress to approve the trade deal on a yes or no vote. Pelosi leads the House and controls what legislation is voted on, meaning she has the power to kill the USMCA.