Lawmakers head north to talk USMCA
By Megan Cassella, POLITICO
With help from Doug Palmer, Adam Behsudi and Ryan McCrimmon
Four members of the House Ways and Means Committee are in Ottawa this morning to meet with Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who led Canada’s negotiating team during USMCA talks. The still-pending trade agreement will be the focus of the meetings today, according to aides from both countries.
Trudeau and Freeland will look for an update from the lawmakers — Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) and Neal — on how ratification is going and will want to talk about labor reform implementation in Mexico, a Freeland spokesperson said.
Mexico’s labor law overhaul has been a central focus for House Democrats working with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to make changes to the USMCA, and Neal said last week that he believes Trudeau and his deputies “are in full accord with us in terms of support for the enforcement mechanisms that we are insisting on.”
GOP patience wears thin: The trip comes as Republicans are steadily ramping up calls for action on the agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday took to Twitter to pressure Democrats to move forward, blaming the delays squarely on what he called the party’s “three-year-old impeachment obsession.”
Updating the caucus: The USMCA was a central focus of a House Democratic caucus call on Tuesday evening. Members asked about issues including timing and labor, one person said. And the central message was that there has been progress on getting a deal done, POLITICO’s John Bresnahan reports.
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Eyes on Tokyo ...
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