In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., President Donald Trump told Congress that it would have to approve his U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal before working on infrastructure spending.
Trump previously indicated in April that he is on board with Congress’ plan to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure. The official plan released by the White House “called upon the Congress to pass legislation that generates at least $1 trillion in infrastructure investment.”
“Before we get to infrastructure, it is my strong view that Congress should first pass the important and popular USMCA trade deal,” Trump said in his letter.
NEW: In letter to Pelosi and Schumer on eve of infrastructure mtg, @realDonaldTrump calls for passage of USMCA, urges Dems to identify key projects.
“Your caucus has expressed a wide-range of priorities,” he writes. “[A]nd it is unclear which ones have your support.” pic.twitter.com/wg5Moz2j71
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) May 21, 2019
Trump said of the deal, “It will replace the job-killing NAFTA, one of the worst trade deals ever entered into by our Nation.” Trump has made no secret of his hatred for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which until 2018 governed trade between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
While the full effects of the USMCA have yet to be explored, a report from the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) from April found that it would be better for the U.S. economy than NAFTA, but only slightly.
Even before Trump expressed his support for a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, the Treasury had predicted that by 2020 the U.S. would run a $1 trillion federal deficit for the first time since the end of the recession.
In March 2018, Trump said he was “forced” to sign a $1.3 trillion spending bill into law and promised “never to sign a bill like this again.” He said that he had seriously considered using his veto power. That bill contained a substantial amount of military funding and did not cut any of Planned Parenthood’s funding.