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Mexican Senate leader aims to pass trade deal by week's end

Eric Martin, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's Senate majority leader is pushing for passage of changes to a new free-trade deal with the U.S. and Canada by the end of this week after the governments of the three nations completed months of negotiations.

Ricardo Monreal, from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's ruling Morena party, said Wednesday that he wants a vote before Dec. 15, the end of its fall session. The next regular session wouldn't be scheduled until February.

The plan was to pass the deal addendum in committees Wednesday night and in the full Senate on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the party's thinking. The Senate only needs to debate the latest changes, because the original agreement was ratified 114 to 4 in June, with broad support from the three biggest parties.

"It could be tomorrow, it could be Friday, but it needs to be within this ordinary session period," Monreal told reporters.

That would make Mexico the first country to approve the revised deal with stronger labor protections announced Tuesday by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and backed by the largest American labor federation. Pelosi said she hopes for a vote before Congress recesses Dec. 20. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote after President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, sometime in early 2020. Canada's parliament is poised to take it up sometime next year.

 

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