As the Trump administration is stepping up efforts to convince House Democrats to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact (USMCA). U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with the House Democratic caucus on Wednesday to discuss the USMCA, kicking off a process House Speaker Nancy Pelosi established for members of her conference to voice their criticism of the trade pact.

One of the Democrats top concern is to ensure Mexico implements labor law reforms required under the new trade pact, and to guarantee that USMCA’s labor, environment and pharmaceutical provisions can be enforced.

House Democrats voiced frustration over what they say are a lack of enforcement measures in the pact to ensure Mexico will follow through with a pledge to improve salaries and conditions for workers in automobile plants as well as allowing secret votes being held when a labor pool considers whether to unionize. 

Mexico’s USMCA pledges to raise wages and give union members access to collective bargaining are seen by Democrats as key to stopping U.S. factories from moving south of the board to take advantage of cheap labor.

Democrats also indicated they have reservations about provisions they say could lock in high prescription drug prices. In addition, Democrats are concerned about how to enforce Mexico’s labor commitments. Some House Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, have said they will wait for Mexico to pass a law to make necessary labor changes, a commitment Mexico made as part of the deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Some lawmakers indicated they are concerned that Mexico will backpedal on its commitments. However, the administration of Mexico’s new populist leader, President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador, has said the Mexico Senate, which is led by his party, is now likely to pass the necessary commitments in April.

Lighthizer told lawmakers on Wednesday that concerns over enforcement could be addressed through forthcoming legislation to implement the agreement, rather than by reopening the deal to further negotiations.  The Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations all made changes to pacts after they were negotiated to garner the necessary support on Capital Hill.

In spite of Democrats concerns with elements of the deal, several lawmakers praised Lighthizer for his willingness to listen to them, a departure from the rancor that has largely defined the party’s relationship with the Trump administration.  “The one thing that was interesting about it was that everyone applauded his accessibility to answer questions,” said Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.  “I think there was a broad agreement that, of the trade reps, he has been the most available.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) also praised Lighthizer for coming to Capitol Hill and stressed that she and other Democrats want to support the trade pact.  “He’s listening, which is a very good thing for him to do,” DeLauro said.  “We want to get there, but thrre are some things that will prevent us from getting there if they are not changed.”