The U.S. Senate’s top Republican said on Tuesday that senators will not vote to approve a revised North American trade pact in 2018, leaving the issue to the next Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Bloomberg Television that the Senate will not have time to take up the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal before 2019.
Last week, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn, had said it was “unlikely” the Senate would be able to vote in the final weeks of 2018. Some industry leaders had held out slim hope that a deal could still be approved this year.
The new trade deal is set to be signed on November 30, but to comply with fast-track U.S. trade rules, Congress must get a report from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on the economic impacts of the trade deal.
The agreement follows more than a year of talks to update the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) after President Donald Trump prepared to withdraw from the trade deal in early 2017.
Read more in Reuters.