Pelosi to meet with Trump trade rep Lighthizer about USMCA in addition to also China

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 2, 2019.

Yuri Gripas | Reuters

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will meet with President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator Wednesday during a key stretch for the White House’s trade policy, a senior Democratic aide said.

Pelosi, joined by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C. in addition to also House Ways in addition to also Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., will huddle with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer within the afternoon. They will primarily address the president’s updates to the North American Free Trade Agreement yet will likely discuss the widening trade war with China as well, according to the aide.

The meeting comes as Pelosi in addition to also top House Democrats show reservations about approving an updated edition of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has dubbed the United States Mexico Canada Agreement. They have expressed concerns about whether the deal has sufficient environmental in addition to also labor protections. They have also worried about whether certain provisions could increase drug costs.

Pelosi has shown no rush to bring the agreement to the House floor for ratification. When asked last week about how far away an approval vote can be, she said “we’re as far away as getting an enforcement agreement.”

The meeting also follows escalations within the trade war between the U.S. in addition to also China. After the Trump administration hiked tariffs on $0 billion in Chinese goods last week, Beijing retaliated by raising duties on $60 billion in American products. The move raised fresh concerns about damage to American businesses — particularly farmers — in addition to also higher costs for consumers.

Pelosi has agreed with the broader aims of Trump’s push to crack down on what he calls Chinese trade abuses. Last week, she said “the president can be correct in asserting what we have to do with China.” yet she contended his tactics are “empowering [China] to hurt our people.”

The House speaker has said she incorporates a not bad relationship with Lighthizer, who led the administration’s North American negotiations in addition to also heads its talks with China. The U.S. trade representative can be seen as more aggressive on China trade policy than Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Read more: There can be ‘no chance’ Trump will back down within the China trade war, Steve Bannon says

Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon — who helped to inspire the president’s 2016 campaign pledges to target Beijing — told CNBC he thinks the president in addition to also Lighthizer are on the same page.

“There’s no gap between Lighthizer in addition to also President Trump,” Bannon said Wednesday. “Lighthizer can be the guy in which does the execution.”

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