Details of US-Mexico-Canada trade deal ironed out by lawmakers
US President Donald Trump's new Nafta, also known as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, that relies on Democrats' help is making good progress
US President Donald Trump's new Nafta, also known as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, that relies on Democrats' help is making good progress.
Following weeks of talks between Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and lawmakers, negotiators are now working at full throttle to get to a resolution on issues that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her caucus want amended before the agreement could be put up for a vote, reported Bloomberg.
House Democrats have submitted detailed proposals for fixes to Mr Lighthizer and his team and are now waiting for a counter offer, sources said. Democratic staff say the US Trade Representative (USTR) has what it requires to put together a package to address Democrats' concerns, putting the ball in Mr Lighthizer's court to find a way forwards.
The proposals, which outline amendments to the deal's labour, environment, pharmaceutical and enforcement provisions, mark the start of what is anticipated to be a month of back-and-forth exchanges of paper and continuous meetings between USTR and congressional staff.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect is the fact that Mr Trump's increasingly hostile rhetoric towards the Democrats hasn't yet impacted the process. Ms Pelosi has not changed her marching orders; she continues to tell staff to focus on the substance of the agreement rather than get distracted by outside noise, according to the sources familiar with the talks.
Still, it's not clear how long that approach is sustainable. The 2020 election is rapidly approaching and it becomes ever more difficult for Democratic candidates to justify giving Mr Trump a win on his top legislative priority.