The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative could send an implementing bill for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to Congress this week, as the required 30 days have passed since the draft statement of administrative action was submitted, Politico is reporting. Previous reports have indicated that the Trump administration wants to have the USMCA ratified before the August recess, but that seems less and less likely.
Democrats have warned the White House not to advance the bill before resolving some issues the Democratic caucus has raised about the agreement, including provisions that address labor rules, environmental concerns, and enforcement, Politico reported. In addition, a 103-member “New Democrat Coalition” sent a letter Monday to USTR Robert Lighthizer urging him to hold off advancing the bill to allow time for outstanding issues to be resolved and arguing that pushing the bill would jeopardize ratification of the USMCA this year.
“The New Democrats are a pro-free-trade bloc that is widely seen as a potential source of the Democratic votes necessary to pass the USMCA in the House, and having their support would be crucial to lobbying others in Congress to approve the deal,” Politico reported.