Loading...

New Democrats Urge Lighthizer to Resolve Outstanding USMCA Issues

July 8, 2019 by Dan McCue
New Democrats Urge Lighthizer to Resolve Outstanding USMCA Issues

WASHINGTON – Six members of the New Democrat Coalition wrote the U.S. Trade Representative on Monday urging him to respond to congressional concerns regarding the new North American Free Trade agreement, known as USMCA, to ensure its successful bipartisan passage.

“While we appreciate your willingness to listen, we have not seen any meaningful progress or tangible proposals from you to address these concerns,” wrote Representative Derek Kilmer, D-Washington, the chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, in the letter to Ambassador Robert Lighthizer.

He was joined in sending the letter, by Representative Suzan DelBene, D- Wash., vice chair of the group, and Representatives Ron Kind, D-Wis., Rick Larsen, D-Wash., Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., and Lizzie Fletcher, D-Texas.

The representatives stress their belief that it was clear from the outset of talks that such proposals are necessary for a successful resolution of concerns over the trade deal, and they remind Lighthizer they were “troubled” when he sent a draft State of Administrative Action to Capitol Hill on May 30 without consulting House members beforehand.

“We … strongly urge you not to make the same mistake twice,” the coalition members say.

If it is approved by all three countries, the USMCA would replace the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement. But in the U.S., House Speaker Pelosi has objected to the deal, saying it lacks adequate mechanisms to enforce its labor and environmental provisions, or rein in the cost of prescription drugs.

As speaker, Pelosi is under no obligation to bring the USMCA up for a vote until her concerns are addressed. Under current rules, the earliest the USMCA could pass in a House vote, should one be allowed, would be in the second week of July.

In the meantime, Pelosi has established four working groups of lawmakers to meet with Lighthizer and his staff to try to hammer out a solution.

“It is our belief, as legislators intimately involved with the law under which the new NAFTA was negotiated, that moving forward with implementing legislation absent the agreement of Democratic leadership would almost certainly be taken as a failure to fulfill the consultation requirements of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015,” the representatives say.

The New Democrats close on a positive note, telling Lighthizer they remain optimistic that outstanding concerns can be addressed in a timely manner. However, they also warn that any action by the Trump administration to send implementing text to the Hill ahead of these resolutions or without an agreement from Democratic Leadership would be premature and unproductive.

The trade representative’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In The News

Health

Voting

Trade

July 22, 2022
by Dan McCue
US, Canada Demand Talks Over Mexican Energy Policies

WASHINGTON — Just days after the second anniversary of the USMCA trade agreement, two of its three signers, the U.S.... Read More

WASHINGTON — Just days after the second anniversary of the USMCA trade agreement, two of its three signers, the U.S. and Canada, are demanding dispute settlement talks with the third, Mexico, over domestic energy policies they say are undermining cross-border supplies. The request, first announced by... Read More

July 22, 2022
by Kate Michael
Copper Shortage Could Stymie Net-Zero Energy Goals

WASHINGTON — A shortage of one essential material could curtail America’s transition to new sources of clean energy according to... Read More

WASHINGTON — A shortage of one essential material could curtail America’s transition to new sources of clean energy according to a new report from S&P Global. The world’s copper supply is unlikely to be able to meet demand for all of the new technologies critical to... Read More

July 20, 2022
by Dan McCue
US, 17 Other Countries Agree to Mount Joint Response to Supply Chain Issues

WASHINGTON — The United States and 17 of the world’s leading economies have agreed to work together on “crisis response”... Read More

WASHINGTON — The United States and 17 of the world’s leading economies have agreed to work together on “crisis response” to alleviate ongoing disruptions and bottlenecks in the global supply chain while also addressing longer term resilience challenges that threaten their economic well-being. The announcement came... Read More

July 8, 2022
by Dan McCue
Nearly 5M Additional Cans of Infant Formula Soon to Reach Store Shelves

WASHINGTON — More than 4.8 million cans of infant formula will be shipped to U.S. retailers from an Australian manufacturer... Read More

WASHINGTON — More than 4.8 million cans of infant formula will be shipped to U.S. retailers from an Australian manufacturer beginning in August, the Food and Drug Administration announced Friday. The formula is being sourced from Care A2+, an Australian-owned and run nutrition and wellness company.... Read More

May 13, 2022
by Kate Michael
Consensus, Sabotage Spoiling WTO According to Former Director

WASHINGTON — As the World Trade Organization plans to convene in Geneva next month for its 12th ministerial conference, top... Read More

WASHINGTON — As the World Trade Organization plans to convene in Geneva next month for its 12th ministerial conference, top officials — including the WTO’s last director — wonder if this conference will be a “make or break" moment for the only global international organization that... Read More

March 11, 2022
by Dan McCue
US, Allies Say ‘Nyet’ to Russian Seafood, Vodka as Ukraine Invasion Continues

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Friday the United States and other allies will move to revoke Russia’s “most favored... Read More

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Friday the United States and other allies will move to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status in response to its unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine, with the U.S. specifically targeting Russian imports such as vodka, seafood and gemstones. In... Read More

News From The Well