U.S. farmers won’t see a North American trade deal under the Christmas tree this year, despite this week’s deal to move the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement forward.
The House of Representatives, which must act first, plans to vote by the end of next week, sending the trade deal to the Senate. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Wednesday the Senate won’t be able to consider the agreement until after Christmas, pushing Senate action on USMCA into 2020.
McConnell cited a full slate of issues to consider, including spending bills, judicial appointments and the pending impeachment trial. The January Senate calendar is blank, leaving room for a month of impeachment proceedings in the Senate.
While Democrats were blamed for stalling the agreement, they’ve flipped the coin to blaming Senate Republicans for causing further delays. McConnell claims House Democrats waited too long before advancing the agreement to allow for the trade to become law this year. But, McConnell’s intentions could push a Senate vote to February.