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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Prescription drugs may be the latest snag for President Trump’s proposed NAFTA replacement.

The big picture: Trump's deal, known as USMCA, already faces an uncertain fate in the Democratic-controlled House, as my colleague Jonathan Swan reported earlier this week. And now Democrats are homing in on the deal's protections for biologic drugs, according to the Associated Press.

What they're saying: "This is an outrageous giveaway to Big Pharma," Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) told AP.

  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who chairs the Ways and Means trade subcommittee, said he didn't think the agreement could pass his subcommittee without changes to the biologics provisions.

Details: The U.S. guarantees 12 years of market exclusivity to new biologic drugs, before cheaper quasi-generic competitors known as biosimilars can come to market.

  • The USMCA would require Canada and Mexico to guarantee 10 years of exclusivity for biologics. Both countries offer less than that today.
  • "By including 10 years in a treaty, we are locking ourselves in to a higher level of monopoly protection for drugs that are already taking in billions of dollars a year," Jeffrey Francer, the general counsel for a group representing generics, told AP.

The other side: Generous exclusivity periods are designed to help drugmakers recoup the cost of developing a new drug, including the cost of failed products, and biologics are particularly complex (which is why they are particularly expensive).

The bottom line: The negotiations over USMCA are dynamic and cover a lot of ground. Biologics may not sink the agreement. And the White House is hoping to peel off moderate Democrats, not necessarily the Rosa DeLauros of the world.

  • But for Democrats to be folding one of their strongest issues into this debate can’t be a good sign.

Go deeper: Troubles ahead for Trump's NAFTA replacement

Go deeper

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Far-right figure "Baked Alaska" arrested for involvement in Capitol siege

Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI arrested far-right media figure Tim Gionet, known as "Baked Alaska," on Saturday for his involvement in last week's Capitol riot, according to a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

The state of play: Gionet was arrested in Houston on charges related to disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session, per AP.