Amid impeachment inquiry, USMCA supporters push ahead


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Republicans say they fear the trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada will go to the wayside since Democrats are launching a full impeachment inquiry into the president.

Supporters of USMCA, which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, say it will open billions in new partnerships for U.S. farmers and create thousands of new jobs.

David Salmonsen of the American Farm Bureau Federation says even amid an impeachment frenzy, he hopes the USMCA is still on track to pass.

“I think everybody knows that this is something that needs to get done,” he said. “It’s a very noisy time. But we’ve seen this before and legislation has gotten done. You know, this has been negotiated. It’s done — it’s ready to go.”

The trade deal has growing support from Republicans and some Democratic proponents.

But other Democrats are still calling for a better deal that includes stronger labor rules in Mexico and safeguards to keep the cost of prescription drugs from rising.

President Donald Trump warned the investigation could derail the new trade deal.

“I don’t think Nancy Pelosi is going to have any time to sign it,” Trump said. “She’s wasting her time”

Republicans Senators like Joni Ernst of Iowa are urging Democrats not to get distracted.

“This isn’t about politics. This is about the American people,” Ernst said.

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted the inquiry won’t slow down trade talks.

“We’re moving ahead on a United States Mexico Canada trade deal,” she said.

Democrats are continuing active trade talks at the White House.

USMCA supporters are hoping the deal is signed by Thanksgiving.

“It’s time to harvest the USMCA,” Salmonsen said.

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