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Trump Administration Shows Flexibility in USMCA Proposal

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The Trump administration has offered Democrats “significant flexibility” regarding demands for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The counterproposal sent to House of Representative leadership last week addresses concerns raised by Democrats, according to Politico. The proposal from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer offers a fix to concerns raised on how disputes between governments are resolved. Additionally, the proposal addresses labor, environmental and pharmaceutical concerns. The counterproposal is increasing optimism the agreement can be finished yet this year. Trump administration officials have said they expect the agreement can be passed by Congress within the next two months, although lawmakers have a full plate to tackle this fall.

Farm groups and House Agriculture Committee leaders rallied outside the capitol last week in support of the agreement. This spring, the American Farm Bureau Federation estimated the agreement could increase U.S. agriculture exports by $2.2 billion. USMCA also changes sanitary and phytosanitary standards, biotech rules and other provision. Mexico has already ratified the agreement and Canada is in the process of finalizing the agreement.