USMCA and Congress

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The Canadian Global Affairs Institute suggests the United States remains the biggest unknown as Canada, the US and Mexico move toward ratification and implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the modernised version of NAFTA, is expected to be signed 30 November, at which point the deal will still require passage of legislation in all three countries for its ratification.

Colin Robertson, Vice President and a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says the agreement won’t be a done deal until it gets through the US Congress.

Mr¬†Robertson says, “My sense is that the earliest the Americans will be in a position to bring forward their legislation will be probably February, March or April and we’ll be dealing with a different Congress.

“There are mid-term elections set for 6 November and that’s for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and for one third of the 100 member Senate.”

Mr Robertson says that this could result in a different configuration within both the House of Representatives and in the Senate.

He says that the Republicans currently have a majority in the House of Representatives and very slim majority in the Senate and it’s an open question as to what will be the results of the election.

He says, “The pundits currently seem to think the Democrats have a fair chance of taking the majority in the House of Representatives but the Senate is still, as they would say in basketball, jump ball so we’re not sure what will happen there.

“That will have implications for the ultimate passage of legislation in the US Congress because, for the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement to take effect, legislation would have to be passed in the three parliaments.”

Mr¬†Robertson notes, in the case of Canada and Mexico, both leaders have majorities so he doesn’t anticipate any problems with passage of the legislation to ratify the agreement in Canada or Mexico.


As reported by Bruce Cochrane, Farmscape.Ca