Pelosi hints USMCA may not come up for a vote this year

'We don't want NAFTA with sugar on top,' House speaker says

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hinted that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement may not come up for a vote before the end of the year during her weekly press conference on Thursday.

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Passage of the USMCA is a priority for the Trump administration, which promised to buoy the U.S. economy by improving a variety of international trade deals, including replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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"We don't want NAFTA with sugar on top," Pelosi said Thursday, stressing the importance of workers' rights for all countries involved.

Even if there is an agreement on USMCA today, there may not be enough time to set a ratification vote this year, Pelosi said.

President Donald Trump, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, left, participate in the USMCA signing ceremony, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

She added that commerce cannot be separated from the environment "even though this administration is in denial about that."

Pelosi insisted USMCA remains a priority for Congress last week.

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"I'd like to see us get it done this year, I mean, that would be my goal," Pelosi told reporters, adding that she wants the USMCA to "be a template for future trade agreements."

Leaders from the three countries negotiating the deal signed as a precursor to their legislatures ratifying it. Mexico ratified the deal in June, while Canada appears on track to ratify the deal in its new parliament.

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FOX Business' Edward Lawrence and Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.