“And I’ve been told — and who knows if this is so, but it I think it’s so — I have pretty good authority on it that she’s using USMCA because she doesn’t have the impeachment votes, so she’s using USMCA to get the impeachment vote,” Trump said.
USMCA is the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, as the new trade deal is known. It is a rewrite of the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. Pelosi last week called a deal on the new NAFTA “imminent” and said she would like to pass it this year.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill rejected Trump’s remarks.
“As the president well knows, the speaker has been working diligently with his trade representative to advance Democrats further down a path to yes on the USMCA,” Hammill said. “The president’s desperate attacks aside, this issue is totally separate from the ongoing impeachment inquiry.”
Trump made his comments as negotiations on the trade deal were reaching a head on Capitol Hill, despite the impeachment hearings happening elsewhere in the Capitol complex.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, whose support is critical for many Democrats, met Tuesday with Pelosi and House Democratic freshmen to urge “solidarity” as labor and Democrats hold out for stronger enforcement measures in the deal. Some of these freshmen represent swing districts and are pushing for a quick vote on the trade deal, which could benefit constituents in the Midwest and elsewhere.
Trumka then met with Pelosi and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), who expressed optimism about negotiations with the Trump administration.
“We’re narrowing the differences again — enforcement, enforcement, enforcement,” Neal said. “And we are, I think, close to presenting them with a path to do what we want on this that they can accede to.”