Trumka Says Fast Action on Trade Pact with Canada and Mexico Would be ‘Colossal Mistake’

A key labor leader has warned House Democrats not to expedite approval of a new North American trade deal, saying that the agreement remains far from complete and that a vote in coming weeks would be a “colossal mistake.”

“If there was a vote before Thanksgiving, the agreement would be defeated,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told The Washington Post this week in an interview. Support from the 12.5 million-strong AFL-CIO would be critical in persuading many House Democrats to back the new trade deal, giving Trumka enormous sway in negotiations.

Trumka’s comments come as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pushes for a vote by Thanksgiving. Republican lawmakers and Trump administration officials are also trying to ramp up pressure on House Democrats to get the deal done, although there are conflicting signals about how the impeachment inquiry of President Trump will affect the process.

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