Tags: Mexico | Trump Administration | robert lighthizer | senate | republicans | trade | usmca

Lighthizer Tries to Ease GOP Sens Over UMSCA House Tweaks

Robert Lighthizer leans into the mic to speak during a news conference
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 12 December 2019 06:08 PM

Senate Republicans on Thursday expressed concern with some of the provisions in President Donald Trump's North American landmark trade deal, with some telling U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer the president conceded too much to House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, reports The Hill.

Lighthizer, Trump's top trade official, briefed all GOP senators at a lunch on the new agreement with Canada and Mexico in an attempt to soothe tensions over some of the provisions, including significant changes on workers' rights, prescription drug prices and environmental protections. He also met with members of the Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters he did not appreciate the Senate being ignored as part of the process.

"He just assumed that whatever he could get Pelosi to agree to that would be it and in the process bypassed the practice since 1974 of sending up a discussion draft and having a mock mark-up where we can have an impact on the implementation," Cornyn said. "They denied us the opportunity."

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., aired his concerns during the meeting, per The Hill.

"There are a lot of us that are not real pleased with some of the provisions in there," Johnson said. "Truthfully, why didn't we move to ratify this when we had Speaker Ryan" in control of the House, he asked. 

"I still just scratch my head at that, I don't get it," Johnson added.

Lighthizer said the trade deal "wasn't ready yet" in 2018.

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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is tasked by soothing concerns by GOP senators that President Donald Trump conceded too much to House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
robert lighthizer, senate, republicans, trade, usmca
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2019-08-12
Thursday, 12 December 2019 06:08 PM
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