Trump says up to Senate whether to vote on USMCA trade pact before impeachment trial

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., December 17, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the U.S. Senate needs to decide if it will vote on the country’s new trade pact with Mexico and Canada, known as USMCA, before it holds a trial on whether he will be impeached.

“We’ll also have to decide on when we’re taking the vote for the USMCA,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked if fellow Republican Senator Mitch McConnell will decide on witnesses for the impeachment trial. “It’s a very important deal with Mexico, Canada and ourselves. We’re going to have to decide whether or not that comes first or second. To me, I’ll let the Senate decide on that.”

The Democrat-led House of Representatives is expected to approve the articles of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday to send to the Republican-dominated Senate, kicking off the trial where senators will decide if the president violated the U.S. Constitution. Before the end of the week, the chamber also plans to vote to approve USMCA and then send the pact to the Senate, which is expected to validate the pact as well.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Makini Brice; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien