White House to Send USMCA to Congress this Fall

The White House says it will send the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to Congress after September first, setting up a busy fall schedule for lawmakers. While the goal of the move is to set up a vote before the end of the year, lawmakers will also be working on spending bills and nearing election season.

House Democrats are still seeking changes to the agreement related to enforcement, and rules regarding labor and the environment. Mexico ratified the agreement last month, and Canada remains in the process towards ratifying the agreement.

Vice President Mike Pence traveled to California on Wednesday promoting the agreement. A Pence staff member told reporters the administration is optimistic for bipartisan support and passage. The deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement represents 28 percent of all US agricultural exports, according to USDA data.

Agriculture groups have called for lawmakers to pass the agreement. The National Pork Producers Council says passage would allow US farmers to send products “duty-free to America’s two largest export markets.”