USMCA Won’t Pass This Year Unless Deal Reached by Week’s End: Grassley

December 2, 2019 Updated: December 2, 2019

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement probably won’t pass this year unless a deal is reached this week, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the President Pro Tempore, said on Dec. 2.

“I’ve come to the floor many times to speak with my colleagues about the U.S.-Mexico trade agreement. I recently spoke with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and also officials within the administration about the same subject. By all accounts, the deal is close,” Grassley said on the Senate floor.

“I urge House Democrats to act quickly and be reasonable so that we can finally deliver certainty on this issue to the American people. It has now been more than a year since the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States signed the agreement. So Americans have waited a year for what can happen now to happen.”

Grassley said the deal would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and boost wages but warned the deal’s conclusion would likely be delayed into next year if it wasn’t ratified by the end of the week.

“The end of this year’s legislative session is rapidly approaching, as we all know. If a deal cannot be reached by the end of this week, I do not see how the USMCA can be ratified in the year we’re in. As it is, the window of opportunity for 2019 is extremely tight. Now is the time for the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives to act so we can act now in the United States Senate,” he said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks to the media during her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Nov. 21, 2019. (Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) also called for the House to pass the USMCA.

“Over the last few weeks I’ve been hearing rumors—which I hope are true—that a deal on the USMCA is very close,” he said.

“The USMCA comes now after nearly a year of negotiations between the administration and Speaker Pelosi and her House colleagues to resolve some differences and I’m cautiously optimistic that we may yet see an agreement soon. We’ve been anxious to get the final agreement so the House can begin processing it and then send it over here so we can begin reviewing it in the Senate Finance Committee.”

Cornyn said experts have told members of Congress that the trade deal would bring more wealth to the United States. He blamed Democrats for its “single-minded obsession” with impeaching President Donald Trump and said one of the top questions he hears the most from his constituents is about the trade deal.

“I’d like to be able to head home for Christmas in a few weeks with some good news,” he said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been under pressure from Republicans and Mexico to pass the USMCA. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent a letter to her last week urging her to bring it to a vote.

Pelosi said on Nov. 25 that “we are within range of a substantially improved agreement for America’s workers.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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