(NAFB) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week voiced optimism for bringing up the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal for House action, soon. But there’s still no sign of a negotiating breakthrough with the White House, and the clock is ticking. There are only 16 legislative days left when the House returns next week from its latest recess. American Farm Bureau Federation trade adviser, Dave Salmonsen, says of the need for a House Democrat-White House deal to bring up USMCA, it’s now or not this year.
“Realistically, as far as this happening, I think this current week that we’re in, here, is critical to actually coming to an agreement, and then, going through all the steps.”
Required steps include consulting Mexico and Canada on any changes in the U.S. implementing bill that impact the deal all three countries signed almost a year ago. But asked about Speaker Pelosi’s recent optimism that Democrats and the White House are “reasonably close” to working out labor, environment and enforcement issues, Salmonsen had this.
“I am not aware that they have come to final closure on the issues they were negotiating on. The calendar and the clock is ticking, to finish it this year…with about 15 or 16-legislative days remaining.”
Salmonsen says a deal could still happen soon and the legislative steps can fall into place, quickly. But he adds.
“There’s, at this point, not a lot of extra time padding in here. Either they act, or they don’t pretty soon.”
Impeachment action could become a factor, though Pelosi and Democrats admit, they need to show legislative accomplishments ahead of next year’s elections. And Salmonsen says USMCA, remains a “top priority” on both sides.
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasters