Lawmakers urge passage of new North American trade agreement

Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — In a rare moment of unity, Democrats and Republicans are urging their parties’ leaders to pass the United States, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement.

That’s the deal to replace NAFTA, which was passed in 1993.

“Unbelievably, this agreement was negotiated a year ago, they signed it at the end of November of last year and yet for a year now, congress has refused to take it up,” said Senator Rob Portman (R-OH).

Replacing NAFTA was a pillar of President Trump’s campaign. This week, he continued to push for its passage.

“it’s a great deal for everybody, so hopefully they can get it done and get it done fast,” said Trump.

Speaker of the House Pelosi said she wants a deal done by the end of the year. Some Republicans say she’s the one holding up the process.

“Speaker Pelosi and her house colleagues have had more than enough time to pass this important agreement, yet they’ve failed to do so,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA).

Thursday, some House Democrats said a deal is within reach.

“Now where are we right now? We’re actually very close,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX).

Some sticking points for Democrats include negotiations over stricter labor standards and removing some legal protections for big tech companies.

“And so it’s critical that we resolve the issues, we move forward, we come together to do whats good for this country,” said Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX).

Some Texas congressional representatives say if the deal doesn’t happen, everything from agricultural exports to manufacturing jobs could take a hit.

“And that’s why we as the Texas delegation, we’re here together to say we want this trade agreement to be done this year,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX).

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