Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador said on Monday, Nov. 25, that he would send a letter to Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) this week to urge the U.S. House speaker to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Reuters reported.
Speaking at a news conference, López Obrador said he expected Pelosi and the House lawmakers “are going to help” by approving the trade deal before the end of 2019.
The three countries signed the USMCA last year after the Trump administration renegotiated its previous version—the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Mexico approved the USMCA in June. The country’s exports and foreign direct investment are heavily dependent on having unfettered access to the U.S. marketplace.
Mexico’s call for USMCA ratification is putting more pressure on Pelosi as President Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues have been criticizing her for wasting time on a sham impeachment inquiry rather than focusing on pressing issues such as passing the great trade deal.
According to National Review, USMCA implements several key changes to NAFTA, including increasing U.S. farmers’s access to Canada’s dairy market, enhanced protections for intellectual property, and a 16-year automatic expiration date for the deal.
The new trade deal also requires a higher percentage of automobile parts to be manufactured in Mexico, the United States, or Canada to avoid tariffs, and implements stricter protections for Mexico’s auto industry workers.
However, Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues have argued that USMCA does not go far enough in its labor and environmental protections.
Pelosi last week cast doubt Congress has enough time left to pass the USMCA in 2019 though she has suggested privately earlier this year that she “can get to yes” on the deal.
“I’m not even sure if we came to an agreement today that it would be enough time to finish,” Pelosi said on Thursday.
In a response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted Pelosi for delaying the passage, accusing the speaker of failing to deliver on her promise to get the trade agreement approved.