Pelosi proceeds with impeachment, Dems urge Mexico to compromise on USMCA
In developments that may or may not be interrelated, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., today told House committees to proceed with articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump while House Democrats urged the Mexican government to compromise on its objections to the latest version of the U.S.-Mexico-China Agreement on trade.
Pelosi’s announcement may trigger a House vote on impeachment just before the break for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
House Democrats said Wednesday that a deal on the stalled U.S.-Mexico-Canada free-trade agreement is within reach, and urged Mexico to accept a compromise on labor-rights enforcement, Bloomberg reported.
“We are on the 2½-yard line,” Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., said about efforts to wrap up negotiations on the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and clear the way for approval in Congress.
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Mexico’s top trade negotiator, Jesus Seade, met Wednesday in Washington with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, but apparently they did resolve the issues.
The White House and Democrats suggested removing a provision guaranteeing 10 years of data protection for biologic drugs, which would be a victory for both Democrats and Mexico, Bloomberg said.
But the Mexican business community and the Mexican government are balking at the labor enforcement provisions that some House Democrats and the AFL-CIO have been demanding for their support.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, said Wednesday that Mexico is so opposed to some of the proposed changes to the USMCA that it’s willing to throw in the towel on the new trade deal, Politico reported.
A U.S. dairy executive who was in Washington Wednesday to lobby for quick approval of USMCA, told The Hagstrom Report that he had learned on Capitol Hill it is possible the House will vote on impeachment and USMCA on the same day before leaving for the holidays.
Farm lobbyists have said the Democrats are under pressure to prove that they can accomplish legislative goals while pursuing the impeachment inquiry.
In a statement today, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, “At this morning’s press conference, Speaker Nancy Pelosi could have finally announced a vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that would immediately help America’s farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers; or outlined a plan to work with the president to lower prescription drug prices; or addressed our nation’s infrastructure.”
“Instead, Speaker Pelosi did exactly what she always does — ignore the needs of the American people and advance her selfish political desires,” Grisham said.
“Democrats’ sham impeachment is a blatant, purely partisan attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election. By their own admission, Democrats say they have to ‘impeach the President’ because they cannot defeat him at the ballot box.”
–The Hagstrom Report
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