Pelosi Says USMCA Trade Deal Breakthrough Could Be ‘Imminent’

November 14, 2019 Updated: November 14, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Thursday that the House appears poised to pass the trade agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and that she hopes to pass the deal by the end of the year.

“We are moving positively in terms of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement. Again, it all comes down to enhancement—excuse me, enforcement, but enhancement, too. But enforcement,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference, which largely focused on House Democrat efforts to impeach President Donald Trump around a year before the next presidential election.

“I do believe that if we can get this to the place it needs to be, which is imminent, it can be a template for future trade agreements, a good template,” Pelosi added.

Pelosi said her party is also working on H.R. 3, which is legislation that aims to lower prescription drug costs.

She added that lawmakers would work next week on a continuing resolution, necessary to prevent another government shutdown.

Lawmakers on both sides have been consumed with the divisive impeachment inquiry, which has been staunchly opposed by the GOP but eagerly pushed by Pelosi’s party.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) opened the first open impeachment hearing on Wednesday after weeks of bringing in witnesses to give closed-door testimony.

Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, right, and career Foreign Service officer George Kent, arrive to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a meeting in New York on Sept. 25, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

House Democrats allege Trump abused the office of the president during a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by requesting he “look into” allegations of corruption by former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

Joe Biden in 2016 threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid to Ukraine to pressure then-President Petro Poroshenko into ousting Viktor Shokin, a prosecutor who was probing Hunter Biden’s employer, the energy company Burisma.

Because Joe Biden is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Democrats have said Trump was trying to invite foreign interference in the 2020 election.

Trump also asked Zelensky to see about Ukrainian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, as multiple Ukrainian lawmakers openly admitted to opposing Trump and trying to get Hillary Clinton elected.

During the press conference on Thursday, Pelosi claimed that Trump admitted to bribery.

“The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry,” she said.

She also attempted to tie military aid that was reviewed by Trump to the requests he made to Zelensky, though no link has emerged between the two as of yet and Ukrainian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko said earlier Thursday that American aid and the requested probes were “never” linked.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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