House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Sunday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should bring the vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to the floor, and expressed confidence that the trade deal would pass.
McCarthy, R-Calif., said now that the Trump administration lifted steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico last week, along with the Mexican Senate approving a bill that would allow workers in the country to unionize, there is “nothing holding us back” to passing the vote on the new trade deal that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“The timing could not be more perfect,” McCarthy told “Sunday Morning Futures.” “It will only make us stronger in this battle with China where China doesn’t want to have a fair trade agreement, but it would unite Americas.”
However, the California congressman said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is holding up the vote on the trade deal.
“I want it to come to the floor because it will pass and the requirements the Democrats have asked for have now been met,” he said. “I think it’s a better time to do it now than moving later into the year especially when we’re dealing with China right now. You would want America to have a stronger hand in this debate.”
Still, not all Democrats are on board, despite Mexico passing the key labor bill. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said she is “not there yet” on the vote to pass the trade deal.
“We’ve got to be stronger on enforcement of those labor provisions,” she told “Sunday Morning Futures.” “And they’ve got to make it there. General Motors put a Blazer plant in Mexico and is paying $1.50 an hour. And we’re competing with that salary and it’s not tough enough to make sure that that doesn’t happen yet.”
Dingell also said she is against the pharmaceutical provisions in the USMCA that would likely affect the cost of prescription drugs.
“That will increase the cost of drugs,” she said. “We need to address those … We know we need a level playing field. That’s an important piece of legislation but it’s got to be done right.”