USMCA negotiators converge in Mexico to finalize changes

The number of working days left for Congress this year is dwindling

Negotiators working to finalize the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) are meeting in Mexico on Tuesday as the number of working days left for Congress this year dwindles.

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Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House adviser Jared Kushner will be in Mexico after trade negotiators reached an agreement that makes changes to the enforcement of USMCA, multiple sources have told FOX Business.

USMCA TRADE AGREEMENT REACHED - BUT THERE'S ANOTHER STEP

House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed concerns over enforcement and the need to make sure Mexico pays workers in auto plants an average of $16 an hour. Mexico balked at the idea of U.S. inspectors ensuring its compliance, and the negotiators are looking into a "neutral" third party method.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, D-Mass., who leads the Democratic working group on the trade deal, said Monday to expect a USMCA news conference on Tuesday.

From left, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., left, the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and House Minority Leader Nancy

"We're doing great," he said when asked if they had a handshake deal.

Neal has insisted the deal can happen before Christmas.

Mexico's top trade negotiator, Jesus Seade, was in Washington, D.C. on Monday to work on the deal.

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The USMCA, which overhauls the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, requires 75 percent of automobile components be manufactured in the United States, Canada and Mexico in order to avoid tariffs, and that 40 to 45 percent of automobile parts be made by workers who earn at least $16 an hour by 2023.

President Trump signed USMCA, commonly referred to as the "new NAFTA," on Nov. 30, 2018, but Pelosi has yet to put the trade agreement on the House floor due to the Democrats' enforcement concerns. Mexico ratified the original trade deal in June and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he will bring the modified agreement up for a vote once it passes the U.S. House.

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FOX Business' R.N. White, Edward Lawrence and Jonathan Garber and FOX News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.