After months of negotiations, House Democrats announced Tuesday they have reached an agreement with the White House on President Donald Trump's new trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
The deal will allow the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or the USMCA, Trump's replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, to move forward in the House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the new agreement "much better than NAFTA" and argued changes negotiated by Democrats make the deal "infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration."
Democrats claimed changes to the agreement will bolster America's economy, support workers, protect the environment, and improve access to affordable prescription drugs. "Our purposeful efforts produced changes to the USMCA that earned the endorsement of the AFL-CIO and will set a new standard for U.S. trade agreements moving forward," said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass. He added, "Democrats secured improvements aimed at enhancing North America's economic competitiveness and advancing the United States, Mexico, and Canada's collective work to empower workers, protect patients' access to affordable health care, and improve our shared environment."
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also praised the agreement on the USMCA, crediting President Trump's leadership. "After working with Republicans, Democrats, and many other stakeholders for the past two years we have created a deal that will benefit American workers, farmers, and ranchers for years to come," Lighthizer said. "This will be the model for American trade deals going forward."
The agreement reached on the USMCA will allow members of the House to vote on the trade deal as early as next week. Shortly before the announcement by Democrats, Trump claimed the USMCA will be the "best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA." "Good for everybody - Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions - tremendous support," Trump said in a post on Twitter. "Importantly, we will finally end our Country's worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!" Approval of the trade deal would be a major victory for Trump, who made replacing NAFTA one of his key campaign promises.
However, the announcement of the agreement comes the same day that House Democrats officially introduced articles of impeachment against Trump. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said his committee is introducing two articles of impeachment charging Trump with committing high crimes and misdemeanors.
Nadler said the first article is for abuse of power related to Trump's alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election The second article is for obstruction of Congress due to the president's "unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of the impeachment inquiry," Nadler said.