A growing number of lawmakers from both political parties will not commit to approving the plan
The deal reached last year with the Trump Administration, Mexico and Canada to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is showing signs of stalling in US Congress, according to The Washington Post.
The paper reports that a growing number of lawmakers from both political parties will not commit to approving the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) amid a variety of complaints.
Trump would like to get the agreement ratified by Congress before its annual August recess, but it is now unclear if that timeline is realistic.
Key Republican senators, including Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, have begun insisting stridently that Trump lift steel and aluminium tariffs imposed on Canada and Mexico as a precondition to any congressional vote.
Grassley said in an interview last week that he had made the case directly to Trump at a recent meeting, but that the president refused to budge.
“The tariffs are going to come off because the president has a good agreement,” Grassley said. “It’s just a matter of his realising that nothing’s going to happen until the tariffs go off. And so, the tariffs come off if he wants to get a win.”
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other administration officials are refusing to cancel the tariffs until Canada and Mexico accept quotas on their metals exports. The tariffs were imposed last year in response to a flood of Chinese steel that depressed global prices and dented the fortunes of American steelmakers. The administration now wants quotas as a fallback defense against shipments from China making their way to the US market via Canada or Mexico.