WAUKEE — Both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators will be joining Vice President Mike Pence at an event in central Iowa this afternoon to tout the benefits of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Senator Chuck Grassley says the timeline in Congress for the trade deal is still loose but he’s optimistic it’s gaining support. “There is still negotiation going on on environment and labor and enforcement, but I understand those are good faith negotiations,” Grassley says, “and where there’s a will, there’s going to be a compromise worked out.”

Some three months ago, Grassley — a Republican — met for about a half hour with Democrat and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi specifically to talk about USMCA. “I left that meeting with positive feelings,” Grassley says. “I still have positive feelings.”

Grassley says Pelosi favors passage of the trade agreement but other Democrats are reluctant to move ahead with it unless changes are made. He says the pact won’t be brought to the floor until it has the votes needed to pass, which he hopes is soon. “It does have to be done before the end of the year,” Grassley says. “Time is ticking off. There’s still three months, but that’s not very many days for Congress to meet. I hope the House Democrats don’t forget about this important policy in the midst of impeachment.”

Grassley, Senator Joni Ernst and Vice President Pence will be attending the USMCA event at 2:15 this afternoon at Manning Farms in Waukee.