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Monday, December 2, 2019 - 16:14

MNI POLICY: Senator Grassley Says USMCA's 2019 Window Closing


By Evan Ryser

WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said Monday that the window of opportunity to ratify the replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 2019 is closing.

"The end of this year's legislative session is rapidly approaching. If a deal cannot be reached by the end of this week, I do not see how USMCA can be ratified in 2019," Senator Chuck Grassley said in the Senate chamber.

The new NAFTA agreement, known in the United States as USMCA, was signed more than a year ago by the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

"I've recently spoken with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and officials in the Administration," Grassley said. "By all accounts, a deal is close on USMCA."

Only eight working days remain on the congressional calendar this year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier on Monday Democrats are still finalizing differences with the Trump administration on enforcement mechanisms in the USMCA to bolster labor provisions.

Should Democrats get an addendum to the trade agreement then a vote on the entire deal should follow, Pelosi indicated.

Mexico ratified the deal in June, while Canada has said it will ratify the agreement in tandem with the U.S.

--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202 371 2121; email: evan.ryser@marketnews.com

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