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Report: US Democrats, trade chief close in on USMCA revisions

The U.S. House of Representatives and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are closing in on an amended trade pact with Canada and Mexico, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

The two parties have made progress on key points related to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement after months of negotiations, though some differences remain, according to the report. House Democrats want to revise the USMCA to include an enforcement mechanism for labor rules and scale back intellectual property protections for drugmakers.

Mexico Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard reportedly said the country was against the enforcement of U.S. labor laws in Mexico but would support using arbitration panels to address concerns about labor standards.

The negotiations could complete by the Christmas holiday, the Journal reported, citing an administration official, who said talks are "very, very close to completion."

The USMCA has to be approved by the U.S. Congress.