The leaders of Canada, Mexico and the USA signed a revised North American free trade pact Friday on the margins of the G20 summit in Argentina that is set to govern more than $1.2 trillion in regional commerce. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) has said that he thinks the new deal is a step back from NAFTA, and that before he could support it, it would need to get a "few tweaks that move it in the direction of a more pro-trade agreement".
Democrats mulling presidential runs in 2020, as well as labor and environmental groups, were already gearing up for a showdown with Trump over trade, and the revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will give them an opening for a new line of attack. Kester says the agreement brings the trading relationship with US neighbors into the 21st-century.
Pelosi, who is expected to take the role of House Speaker in January, has repeatedly expressed deep concerns over the deal's enforceability. Mr Trump seems to have opted for diplomacy at the end of a political barrel, telling reporters on Saturday that Democrats "will have a choice" of whether to approve the deal as written or risk the consequences.
The original NAFTA deal was signed in 1992 by former President George H.W. Bush.
If the president follows through on his threat, congressional leaders will have six months to pass the measure.
Some Republicans say they, too, are disinclined to support the agreement in its current form.
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Trump said the new deal was a model agreement that would stop auto jobs from going overseas, protect intellectual property rights and provide robust protections for digital trade and financial services. I think everyone, almost everybody, whether they have an R or a D after their name, realizes this is important for the economy and certainly for trucking. "NFU urges Congress to ensure the administration negotiates improvements to USMCA to create a fair trade framework that benefits family farmers, ranchers and rural communities".
Two other Democratic Senators, Mark Warner of Virginia and Sherrod Brown of OH, fell short of a commitment to back the agreement on Sunday.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico increased from $8.9 billion to $39 billion under NAFTA.
"What isn't in it yet are enough enforcement reassurances regarding workers" and the environment, she told a press conference.
"I think it would require some kind of administrative action in order to bring the FTA back into being and whether the United States would be inclined to do that I don't know".