This week President Trump and his team have been working on the final touches of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement [USMCA] and today he is expected to push the trade deal during a visit to Lockheed Martin’s subsidiary Derco Aerospace, which provides parts and service to aircraft, in Wisconsin.
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In advance of the trip, the President tweeted a dig at the old trade deal, NAFTA, noting… “We stupidly lost 30% of our auto business to Mexico.”
Trump is expected to urge Congress to pass this deal later today, according to Judd Deere, White House Deputy Press Secretary, who told FOX Business exclusively that “The USMCA is the best trade agreement ever negotiated. It is a bipartisan agreement that delivers a win for America’s farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers.”
Sources also tell FOX Business the President would like USMCA ratified this summer, but he is going to let Ambassador Lighthizer address Democrat’s concerns.
On Thursday, Lighthizer met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s working group on Capitol Hill to discuss passing the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada. Both the administration and House Democrats are believed to be working “in good faith” to get an agreement.
The day before White House adviser Marc Short told FOX Business he is optimistic the deal will come together on both sides.
“We think that it has the votes,” Short told Maria Bartiromo. “The reality is that there are 31 congressional Democrats residing in districts that Donald Trump won in 2016. But more importantly, those are districts that create an enormous number of manufacturing jobs in the auto industry or agriculture jobs because we’ve now provided … additional access to dairy farms in Wisconsin, in Minnesota. And so we think the votes are there on a bipartisan basis to pass it, but there still needs to be, I think, some additional work with [House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi because she holds the keys about when she gets to bring it to the floor for a vote.”
As for the timing of the deal, “I think that the reality is it’s more likely to happen this fall. We are certainly hopeful of that happening this summer but we’re going to remain encouraged and we’re going to keep pushing for this,” said Short. The administration sent Pelosi notice last month that it was ready to submit the USMCA deal, which would replace the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement.
Suzanne O’Halloran is Managing Editor of FOXBusiness.com and is a graduate of Boston College. Follow her on Twitter @suzohalloran