Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he’s “very worried about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement for the first time.” He tells Politico that he’s pessimistic that Congress will sign off on the deal before the end of this year.
Grassley has maintained an optimistic outlook for some time as the Trump administration negotiated with House Democrats on potential changes to the deal. However, Politico says talks are stretching into month number four, and with only 22 legislative days left in 2019, Grassley is losing faith. He’s also asking U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to not cave into Democrat demands.
He says changing the trade deal’s labor, environmental, enforcement, and prescription drug provisions too much could put Republican support for the pact in jeopardy. As recently as July, Grassley had said he was “optimistic” after a 30-minute meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Trump Administration’s trade boss is scheduled to meet again with House Democrats this week in continuing efforts to push the legislation through Congress and get it to the president’s desk for his signature.