U.S. Legislation to Ratify USMCA Believed Close


Farmscape for November 26, 2019

Colin Robertson – Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Full Interview 12:07 Listen


The Vice President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute is confident a deal that will allow a smooth ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement by the U.S. is close. The agreement intended to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement has been ratified in Mexico and legislation to ratify it in Canada is expected to be reintroduced by the new government in the House of Commons where it had reached second reading before being derailed by the federal election. Colin Robertson, the Vice President and a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, observes discussion have been underway to address concerns of the Democrats related to labor protection, the environment and patent drug protection, to ensure approval in the Democrat controlled House of Representatives.

Clip-Colin Robertson-Global Affairs Institute:
The deal is close to being done but, when you’re dealing with Donald Trump, you just never know what’s going to happen. He is, as we all know and as we’ve witnessed over the last three years, unpredictable and a tweet which might go up the nose of the Democrats could well lead to this thing not proceeding even though the negotiations are essentially done. We are in the midst of impeachment hearings and that clouds things so we’re not sure how that all is going to go. Essentially the deal is done and I think Nancy Pelosi will not allow the legislation to be introduced until she is sure she’s got the votes Once it gets there, I think it will pass through very quickly, two or three days, a couple of days in the House Ways and Means Committee and then going to the full House for approval and then flipping over to the Senate for similar fast passage. The passage, I think, in the Senate is pretty much assured because the Republicans have the majority there and then the President would sign it off. The original hope was to have it all done by Christmas. The impeachment hearings are likely to delay the rise of Congress until closer to Christmas so that may give some window in the House and Senate schedule for this to go through. I think we’ll know in the coming days so watch that space.

Robertson acknowledges many were hoping ratification legislation would be introduced before American Thanksgiving this week but it looks like it will perhaps be next week.

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