FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with China’s Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office at the White House after two days of trade negotiations in Washington, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not bringing his administration’s re-negotiated trade deal with neighboring Mexico and Canada up for a vote in Congress.
The Republican president and his administration have been pressing for ratification since the three countries inked the deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in November 2018.
The new pact, the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA), must win approval in a divided Congress where Pelosi’s fellow Democrats control the House and have said they have concerns over the agreement, including its labor and enforcement provisions.
Trump administration officials have been pressing for a House vote before the end of November, although a key U.S. labor leader earlier this month said it would fail if it was voted on before the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 28.
NAFTA governs more than $1.2 trillion of mutual trade between the three countries, and Trump sees its replacement as key to his trade agenda with the U.S. economy looming large in his bid for re-election next year.
“Can’t believe that Nervous Nancy Pelosi isn’t moving faster on USMCA. Her people want it, they don’t know why she isn’t putting it up for a bipartisan vote. Taking too long!” Trump tweeted.
Representatives for Pelosi could not be immediately reached for comment.
Pelosi last week said lawmakers were getting closer to a consensus with administration officials over the pact. Her comments came one day after her heated exchange with Trump at the White House in which she criticized the president for having a “meltdown.” Trump, in turn, reportedly called her a “third rate politician.”
Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Sandra Maler