USMCA should be Congress’ top priority, according to Texas lawmakers


WASHINTON D.C. (Nexstar) — Several Texas lawmakers say passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement should be top priority for Congress when it returns from its summer break.

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, due to concerns that the language isn’t strong enough.

“There are also some concerns about whether Mexico follows through on its new labor laws,” U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett said. 

Doggett says the trade deal that replaces NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) must include provisions that would make prescription drugs more accessible and stronger environmental protections.

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.

“There are a lot of Democrats that want to get to a yes and I am hoping we can get them to a yes,” Cuellar said.

Texas Republican congressman Will Hurd says the Trump Administration is all hands on deck to get the deal approved in congress as soon, as possible. Vice President Mike Pence says their efforts are paying off.

“The U.S. trade representative has been meeting weekly with Democrats to move this along,” Hurd said.

The USMCA agreement is completed, and support in congress is growing by the day. However, Hurd says it’s too soon to celebrate.

“We can’t be doing our endzone dance until we actually finally get it solved,” Hurd said.

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.

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