Trump to sign updated NAFTA pact in large White House ceremony, did not invite House Democrats

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Trump plans to sign the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade pact on Wednesday in a White House ceremony with representatives from Canada and Mexico and about 400 other guests. But the White House declined to invite any of the House Democrats who helped Trump secure his biggest trade deal. Mexico's parliament has ratified the deal, which replaces the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as has the U.S. Congress, but Canada still needs to approve it before it takes effect, likely in a few months. This is the latest high-profile event Trump has held during his Senate impeachment trial.

"The White House hasn't invited House Democrats to their USMCA signing ceremony," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) spokesman Henry Connelly. "But we'll be well represented in the huge changes to the original USMCA draft that Democrats wrested out of the administration on labor, prescription drugs, environment, and enforcement mechanisms."

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the list of invitees includes "members of Congress, state and local leaders, and workers from across the country, including farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs," adding that "USMCA rebalances trade in North America, replaces the job-killing NAFTA, ends the outsourcing of American jobs, and invests in the American worker." Trade experts "say the impact of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will be modest," The Associated Press notes.

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"It's a blip," Syracuse University trade economist Mary Lovely tells AP. "The main thing is what it isn't: It isn't a continuation of uncertainty, and it isn't a major disruption," as Trump's other trade policies have been on business.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.