November 12, 2019
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Trump: I expect congressional Democrats will do right thing, approve USMCA

Washington, Jun 20 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Thursday that the ratification of the newly renegotiated trade treaty with Mexico and Canada known as the USMCA depends on Democrats in Congress, adding that he expects that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does the "right thing."

"We have an election coming up, but I think Nancy Pelosi will do the right thing," Trump said during his White House meeting on Thursday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with whom he discussed the approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is designed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement that has been in effect since 1994.

The president said that it's not a matter of "when" the pact will be approved by the US Congress but rather "if" Democrats and Pelosi bring it up for a vote.

The Democratic House speaker is a key figure in moving the treaty forward, given that she has the authority to bring the USMCA up for debate - or not - in the full lower chamber.

Although she has said she is open to the agreement, Pelosi has insisted that it needs certain modifications regarding workers' rights and salaries, environmental questions and matters related to the big pharmaceutical companies.

The aim of the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers, who control the Senate, is to bring the pact to a vote before Congress recesses in August, since after lawmakers return to Washington they will be heavily involved in political activities in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Meanwhile, Mexico's Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly ratified the trilateral USMCA trade deal by a vote of 114-4 with three abstentions on the second day of an extraordinary session, making the Aztec nation the first of the three partners to ratify the deal.

"Congratulations to (Mexican) President (Andres Manuel) Lopez Obrador - Mexico voted to ratify the USMCA today by a huge margin. Time for Congress to do the same here!" Trump wrote on his Twitter account.

Canada has also shown its willingness to approve the pact, but in the US there seem to be more political obstacles to getting that done.

The new pact was signed by all three nations on Nov. 30, 2018, the last day in office for former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. To enter into force, it must be ratified, or approved, by the legislatures of all three nations.

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