Published: Tue, December 10, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

NAFTA parties within 'millimeters' of completing deal, Ross says

NAFTA parties within 'millimeters' of completing deal, Ross says

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces House Democrats' agreement to a an updated version of the USMCA trade deal.

Pelosi said she wasn't anxious about giving Trump a "victory".

In Mexico City, Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Monday night that there would be a meeting of the three countries' negotiating teams Tuesday "to announce the advances achieved" on the trade agreement.

"We made this agreement", said Rep. Richard Neal, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S., Mexico, and Canada are close to finalizing changes to a revised North American free trade deal.

Directly before Pelosi's announcement, Trump tweeted, 'Looking like very good Democrat support for USMCA.

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Pelosi said it wasn't a "coincidence" that there were back-to-back press conferences announcing impeachment and then the trade deal.

Mr. Lighthizer met last week in Washington with Jesus Seade, Mexico's chief USMCA negotiator, to hammer out the toughest issues, which mostly concern their two countries.

If ratified, the trade deal would represent Trump's primary legislative victory since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives last November. Mexico has resisted Democratic demands for teams of USA factory inspectors in Mexico, as well as a proposal to ban imports from factories found to be in violation of labor rights provisions. "This is the right thing to do for our trade situation, for our workers". The AFL-CIO is strongly linked to leading Democrats. "In so doing he undermined our national security and jeopardized the integrity of our next election", Schiff said, adding that criticisms of the impeachment inquiry as rushed amount to one question: "Why don't you just let him cheat in one more election?"

The Trump administration and Democrats in the US House of Representatives are closing in on a deal following several intense days of negotiations with Mexico over potential changes to clauses concerning labor enforcement, steel and aluminum, biologic drugs and internet services.

A coalition of Pelosi-led Democrats and some Republican lawmakers had been resisting the inclusion provisions mirroring Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides a legal shield for big tech companies from liability for users' content. Conservatives are concerned that the provisions unintentionally license tech companies to censor political speech and its inclusion would make reform of the Communications Decency Act more hard. For example, it requires that 40% to 45% of cars eventually be made in countries that pay autoworkers at least $16 an hour - that is, in the United States and Canada and not in Mexico. The reforms are meant to make it easier for Mexican workers to form independent unions and bargain for better pay and working conditions, narrowing the gap with the United States.

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