President Trump said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was “incapable” of setting up a vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade because she had ceded authority to organized labor, specifically the AFL-CIO.
“It is sitting on Nancy Pelosi’s desk. She’s incapable of moving it, it looks like. Everybody knows it is a great deal,” Trump told reporters Monday. “She knows it is a great deal, she’s said it. She hasn’t wanted to do it because, I understand, a couple of the unions, the AFL-CIO, they are asking her to hold it for a while because it’ll make Trump look bad.”
The president said that Mexico and Canada were contemplating pulling out of the deal because of the delay in passage. “If they pull out, it will be her fault, not mine,” he said.
Jesus Seade, Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America and its top negotiator on USMCA, told reporters Monday that U.S. unions had become emboldened in recent weeks. “Far from reaching a deal, in the last two weeks, statements from certain labor sectors have re-emerged, floating ideas that would be totally unacceptable to Mexico,” Seade said, according to Reuters.
Congressional Democrats have been negotiating for months with the White House in order to set up a vote on the trade deal, which would replace the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement. Pro-trade Democrats say there is enough support in the caucus for passage, but that Pelosi wants to run up the numbers.