trade deal
December 9, 2019

Impeachment hearings don't look like they're getting in the way of Congress hammering out a new trade deal for North America.

Richard Trumka, the president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, said Monday that there's a deal in place. He added that he'll meet with his executive committee in the afternoon to discuss it, but he hinted that he feels optimistic about it. "We have pushed them hard and have done quite well," he said.

The AFL-CIO is a key player in the negotiations, since it's the largest federation of unions in the U.S. The organization opposes the existing North American Free Trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, which it blames for the decline in manufacturing jobs with good wages, so its support likely means the potential agreement includes stronger labor protections than NAFTA or the replacement agreement signed by President Trump in 2018.

Republicans in both chambers are expected to support the new deal overwhelmingly, and the AFL-CIO stamp of approval would likely go a long way toward House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) locking up the Democratic House votes needed to pass a vote, as well, The Washington Post reports. Mexico and Canada, of course, will have to ratify any agreement. Tim O'Donnell

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