The Wall Street Journal: Mulvaney says Congress is likely to approve USMCA trade deal this year

WASHINGTON — The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement has “a better than two-thirds chance” of passing through Congress this year, President Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff said Tuesday, adding its approval depends on support among House Democrats.

Speaking at The Wall Street Journal CFO Network meeting, Mick Mulvaney said the successor deal to the North American Free Trade Agreement has many supporters in the House, and a likely majority in the full chamber, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is unlikely to bring it to the floor without a clear majority of Democrats.

“I don’t think Nancy can bring it to the floor until she has something approaching the majority” in her own party, he said. “We know there are champions of this bill in the House. We know that labor supports it; we know that agriculture supports it; we know that manufacturing supports it, although the typical Rust Belt Democrats — that’s their base, they support this deal and they know that it’s better than Nafta.”

Pelosi has signaled they won’t allow a vote on USMCA without certain changes, including easier enforcement of new rules designed to strengthen labor rights in Mexico. The deal must still be ratified by the U.S., Canada and Mexico to go into effect.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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