NEXSTAR (WASHINGTON DC)– Several Texas lawmakers say passing the US Mexico Canada trade agreement should be job one for Congress when it returns from its summer break. But first, they’ll have to convince some Democrats who say they still have issues with the agreement.
The USMCA has been on hold in Washington for months, over concerns among some House Democrats that the language isn’t strong enough.
Democratic US Congressman from Texas, Lloyd Doggett says, “There are also some concerns about whether Mexico follows through on its new labor laws. “
Doggett says the trade deal that replaces NAFTA must include provisions that would make prescription drugs more accessible and stronger environmental protections.
Doggett shares, “There are some environmental provisions that are very important.”
But Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar supports the deal and has been working for months in his own party to recruit hesitant lawmakers, like Doggett, to get on board.
Cuellar adds, “There are a lot of Democrats that want to get to a yes and I am hoping we can get them to a yes.”
Republican Congressman from Texas, Will Hurd shares, “The US Trade Representative has been meeting weekly with democrats to move this along.”
Hurd says the Trump administration is all hands on deck to get the deal approved in Congress as soon as possible, and Vice President Mike Pence says their efforts are paying off.
The VP adds, “Support in Congress is growing by the day.”
But Hurd says it’s too soon to celebrate.
He explains, “We can’t be doing our endzone dance until we actually finally get it solved.”
He says a lot depends on if Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is ready to bring the USMCA to the floor for a vote once Congress returns in September.
Lawmakers say with farmers facing hard times, the USMCA would go a long way toward stabilizing markets and shoring up crop prices.