Neal Statement on Trade Working Group Progress and Report to Speaker Pelosi
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) released the following statement after the House Democrats’ trade working group met with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert E. Lighthizer:
“Today, the House Democrats’ trade working group concluded its fourth meeting with Ambassador Lighthizer on the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Over the course of their meetings with USTR, working group members laid out thorough proposals to improve the agreement’s provisions for workers, the environment, access to affordable medicines, and enforcement. These are not new issues – House Democrats have voiced their priorities throughout the Trump Administration’s negotiations with Canada and Mexico, and more recently through a series of letters to USTR.
“To further inform Democrats’ work on the agreement, House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) last weekend led a bipartisan Congressional Delegation – which included members of the trade working group – to Mexico. The trip provided members of the delegation with a deeper understanding of the worker and environmental conditions in Mexico, as well as the continuing challenges to implementation and enforcement of the agreement.
“Following this productive trip and as our initial series of meetings with USTR concludes, the working group today submitted to Speaker Pelosi a report on our progress, our concerns and proposals, and the high stakes for getting this new agreement right.
“Democrats have clearly explained the needed improvements to the renegotiated NAFTA as it stands. Now, it is time for the administration to respond to our proposals. We remain committed to working diligently with Ambassador Lighthizer on this agreement. The timeline for consideration of the revised deal depends on the administration’s willingness to negotiate with us in good faith to address House Democrats’ concerns.”