Peter Navarro, a senior White House adviser to President Donald Trump and the director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, is out with a new White House video provided exclusively to Breitbart News calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold a vote this month in the House on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.
“The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement is far more important than any China deal,” Navarro says in the video, provided exclusively to Breitbart News. “America has almost twice the amount of trade with Canada and Mexico than it does with China, but more importantly the U.S. exports five times as many products to Mexico and Canada than it does to China, where trade is a one-way street moving in the wrong direction. There are only a few days left in the legislative calendar before the end of 2019. If Nancy Pelosi fails to put the USMCA up for a vote this month, it will be a signal failure of our political process and an economic catastrophe.”
The video comes on the heels of President Trump’s contentious White House meeting with congressional Democrats, including Pelosi, on Wednesday, when the Speaker stormed out of the meeting. Pelosi has been pushing forward with an “impeachment inquiry” into President Trump but refuses to hold a vote in the House officially opening impeachment proceedings—thereby opening Democrats up to criticism from the White House and Republicans in Congress who say the process is illegitimate.
Pelosi has also not scheduled any votes on USMCA, the trade agreement that the Trump administration has negotiated with Canada and Mexico in an effort to replace the highly unpopular North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton—a Republican and a Democrat—ushered into being.
Navarro laying out how USMCA would be more significant to the United States than any trade deal with China is also important, because as he points out the U.S. conducts almost twice as much trade with both countries than with China and, even more importantly, five times as many exports.
Under NAFTA, America’s working class has seen significant job losses due to manufacturing moving overseas, especially to Mexico. Trump campaigned hard against NAFTA in 2016, upsetting the traditional partisan orthodoxy that Republicans were in favor of big trade deals like that while Democrats—close with Big Labor—were not.
In so doing, Trump pulled a significant amount of blue-collar working class lifelong Democrats over to vote for him—especially in America’s rust belt—thereby winning states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania and soaring into the White House with 306 electoral votes and victories in 30 and a half states.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 2016 Democrat nominee, had serious issues on trade policy which cost her dearly with union workers in the working class and middle class throughout the country.
This new video from the White House puts in stark terms the consequences that would rest squarely on Pelosi’s shoulders should she fail to call the vote on the USMCA—which many expect would pass Congress with broad bipartisan support.
By saying she would cause an “economic catastrophe,” Navarro and the White House are putting the ball in her court—meaning the future of this rests explicitly with her. It also draws attention to the fact that Democrats have spent all year pushing investigations and hearings on Trump, leading up to the current “impeachment inquiry,” rather than legislating.
What’s more, it lays out how Trump has upheld his end of the bargain on NAFTA with American voters. He promised to get rid of it, and reached a deal to do so. Now NAFTA’s fate—and the fate of the USMCA as its replacement—rests with the Democrats in the House.
Under Pelosi’s speakership this year, Democrats have zero legislative accomplishments—a massive failure for a political party that was swept into the majority in the 2018 midterm elections on high hopes and big promises of things like infrastructure, healthcare, trade, and other kitchen-table issues on which they have thus-far failed to deliver. Pelosi could alleviate some of the pressure on some of her so-called “moderate” Democrat members representing districts in which Trump defeated Clinton in 2016 by allowing the vote on USMCA to happen this month, as Navarro is pushing.
Democrats run the risk of losing their House majority after just one term if they continue down the path they are on—investigate, attack Trump, and fail to legislate altogether—given that Republicans only need to retake a net 19 seats to take back the majority in 2020. A whopping 31 Democrats represent districts in which Trump triumphed over Clinton in 2016, 13 of which Trump won by more than six percent. Republicans have identified another ring of about 25 more districts they think they could win under the right circumstances, causing serious consternation among Democrats.
If Pelosi allows this vote, though, she could provide many of her vulnerable members with an out—an opportunity to go home and say they have been working with the administration and are not just solely focused on impeachment.