President Donald Trump had a lot to say about trade during his State of the Union speech before Congress. However, there may be a battle over trade policy coming in the near future. Trump’s hardline policies are drawing increased scrutiny on Capitol Hill. There is another bipartisan bill coming before Congress designed to limit the president’s ability to impose duties based on national security.
As the president made his first-ever address to a divided Congress, he spoke about the USMCA trade agreement. Politico says the new agreement now partly rests in the hands of the Democratic majority in the House. Trump calls the agreement a “win for farmers and manufacturers,” as well as a no-brainer when compared to the “historic trade blunder and catastrophe known as NAFTA.” However some groups disagree with that assessment. Some Representatives are already asking for a few changes to the USMCA, including stronger labor protections.
Several lawmakers also told Politico that there isn’t any hope of passing the pact while the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico are in place. Trump was more guarded in talking about trade discussions with China, saying “any agreement with Beijing must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce the chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs.”