Republicans accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of holding back a trade deal until Democrats could impeach Trump.
House Republican leaders on Tuesday concocted a new conspiracy theory in an effort to try and turn public support against Democrats, claiming without evidence that Democrats had held up a trade deal with Mexico and Canada until they were ready to impeach Donald Trump.
"After announcing impeachment, within less than an hour, the speaker finally relented and said she would bring USMCA up," Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said at a news conference with other GOP leaders, referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
He claimed that "the only reason" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had "finally relented is because of the unpopularity of impeachment itself."
Pelosi announced that Democrats had come to an agreement with Republicans on USCMA — a trade deal that merely tinkers around the edges of the North American Free Trade Agreement — on Tuesday morning, shortly after Democrats announced that Trump will face two articles of impeachment.
Impeachment is not unpopular, as McCarthy claimed. In fact, popular support for impeachment has only grown since Trump announced the USMCA in October of 2018.
A plurality of Americans now support impeaching Trump, according to FiveThirtyEight's impeachment poll tracker.
McCarthy leveled another confusing accusation against Pelosi on Tuesday, claiming she wanted to "give as much time as possible before the next election" to let the trade deal help the economy.
"Why did we have to wait this long to have this many more jobs be created? Why did we have to wait this long to have the GDP grow? Maybe because she wanted to give as much time as possible before the next election," McCarthy said.
McCarthy's comment makes little sense. If Pelosi wanted to "give as much time as possible before the next election," she would have agreed to the trade deal last year when it was announced.
Pelosi, for her part, says the USMCA is "a victory for America’s workers" and said that Democrats finally came to an agreement with Republicans after making the trade deal "infinitely better."
The country's largest federation of labor unions, the AFL-CIO, has also thrown its weight behind the deal, stating in a press release Tuesday morning that while the proposal was "far from perfect," it would ensure "fairer" trade rules moving forward.
"For the first time, there truly will be enforceable labor standards—including a process that allows for the inspections of factories and facilities that are not living up to their obligations," the group stated. "...Working people have created a new standard for future trade negotiations."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.