Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador asked U.S. legislators on Friday, Nov. 22, not to entangle internal political issues with the ratification of a renewed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
“We ask legislators from both parties (Republicans and Democrats), with all due respect, to help us and not mix an electoral political issue with the approval of the treaty,” AMLO said during his daily press conference.
“As to the treaty, I believe it has a consensus or greater acceptance among the people of the three nations,” he added, referring to Canada, the United States and Mexico.
López Obrador said that the Mexico-United States-Canada Treaty (USMCA) must not be held hostage to political differences because this does not benefit the economic development of the region.
Legislators from the U.S. Republican Party have expressed fears that the possibility of ratifying the USMCA would be reduced if the process were to continue into next year, due to the 2020 U.S. presidential election and the possibility of an impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.
However, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday, Nov. 21, that the U.S. Congress could possibly vote on the treaty this year.
The USMCA is intended to replace NAFTA, which took effect in 1994.
To be implemented, the USMCA needs the approval of the legislatures of all three countries.
The Mexican Senate is the only one that has approved it so far.