WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — Republicans have begun clamoring for Congress to get busy passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — the trade deal to replace NAFTA.
Lawmakers from both parties were holding out on supporting the deal, until the President lifted tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada.
The Trump Administration reached a deal to do lift the tariffs on Friday, and now Republicans say they’re ready to go. House Democrats have been reluctant to bring the deal to the floor because of concerns about the agreement’s labor, environmental, and pharmaceutical provisions.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy says there’s no better time to approve the deal than right now, saying, “It’s a time to put politics aside and actually put America first.”
McCarthy says any concerns Democrats had with the trade deal were addressed. In addition to the lifting of tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada, Mexico passed a reform to change its labor laws.
Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar says he’s ready to get the ball moving, but other Democrats say they need more time.
Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal says there are still a lot of other concerns related to “environment, enforcement, and access to affordable medicines provisions. Those issues still need to be remedied.”
Mexico and Canada’s legislatures also have to approve the deal before it becomes final.