House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's freshly-launched impeachment inquiry could imperil over just President Trump. It might additionally snuff out any hope of passing a key legislative priority for his industry allies: oil and gas companies.
That would be the ratification of a trade agreement between U. S., Canada, and Mexico, which might secure the free flow of crude oil and refined fuels between the 3 countries.
It was one of the few flickering bipartisan efforts to pass legislation before the 2020 election. However, the impeachment inquiry already consuming Washington can check if congressional Democrats and Trump can still to work along to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It's a goal many in each party want to succeed — particularly Trump as he prepares for his reelection race.
The oil and gas business is additionally dead-set on passing the revised North American Free Trade Agreement this Congress, which contains some key wins it eagerly wants to be codified into law. It would diminish tariffs on thinning materials that help Canadian crude oil reach American refineries and preserve the untaxed transport of other raw and refined petroleum products across borders. It additionally permits U.S. oil and gas companies to sue Mexico under special arbitration rules if it issues regulations that hamper its investments across the border.
Groups lobbying hard for the trade deal in Washington were adamant that the impeachment inquiry shouldn't stall it.
“The American people expect their elected officials to walk and chew gum at the same time,” Neil Bradley, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's executive vice president and chief policy officer, aforesaid in a statement. “It is imperative for our economy that lawmakers and the administration keep moving forward on and complete enactment of USMCA. There are no excuses for inaction.”
However, already brittle relations between House leaders and the White House were starting to snap as Pelosi and other Democrats weigh impeachment. Pelosi has full control over whether the agreement gets a floor vote in the House. Even Trump acknowledged Wednesday that Pelosi may no longer have the will to move forward with the trade pact.
“I don’t know that they’re ever planning to get a vote because they're all fighting,” Trump aforesaid of the trade deal.
Congressional Republicans, too, warned their Democratic counterparts not to turn passage of the revised pact into leverage. “If Democrats use impeachment proceedings as a basis to not act on policy that will directly benefit Americans like the USMCA or lowering prescription drug costs, that would prove they’re more interested in politics and opposing the president at all prices than serving the American people,” Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate finance committee aforesaid this week.
Yet as the Post's Erica Werner and David J. Lynch report, House Democrats met to discuss their issues over the trade pact and notice a way forward after the impeachment announcement. Democrats are seeking to extract from the Trump administration better protections for workers and improved and enforceable environmental standards in the agreement.