Banks Backs USMCA, Wants Vote When Congress Returns From Recess

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Banks Backs USMCA, Wants Vote When Congress Returns From Recess

White House has yet to submit deal for ratification while it discusses objections

(INDIANAPOLIS) - It's been nine months since the U-S reached a trade deal with Mexico and Canada, but the White House still hasn't sent it to Congress to be ratified.

The USMCA will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement if Congress approves it. But so far, only Mexico has ratified it. The White House has delayed even sending it to Capitol Hill while it tries to address some members' objections. It may finally do so next month when Congress returns from recess. That would trigger a three-month clock to approve the deal.

Indiana Congressman Jim Banks says approving the deal is one of the most critical votes on Congress's agenda. He calls the agreement a win for busineses and farms.

Like NAFTA before it, the deal has critics in both parties, but Banks echoes White House officials in predicting a bipartisan majority for approval if it comes to a vote. He accuses House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of trying to put off a vote to avoid giving President Trump a win.

In a speech in Utah on Thursday, Vice President Pence challenged Pelosi to put the agreement to a vote.

Pelosi has said there need to be stronger enforcement provisions for new labor and environmental standards in the bill.

(Photo: tupungato/Getty Images)

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