USMCA takes significant step for trade

Roman Schwartz
December 4, 2018

"It helped us get to where we are", MacNaughton said at a Public Policy Forum dinner in Ottawa. The deal eliminates Canada's unfair Class 6 and Class 7 milk pricing schemes, opens additional access to United States dairy into Canada, and imposes new disciplines on Canada's supply management system.

AP via CP Former President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto, left, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, participate in the USMCA signing ceremony, November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

If Trump makes good on his threat, congress would need to pass the USMCA within six months; failure to act could lead to the cancellation of both agreements, impacting free trade between the three countries.

"It's not a major departure from the previous agreement", Crawford said.

On Sunday, Henry Connelly, a spokesman for Pelosi, told the New York Times that it was "disappointing but not surprising" that Trump was trying to force Congress to approve the new deal.

The new deal has, however, generated a groundswell of opposition from lawmakers especially the Democrats, who will take control of the House in January, making a smooth passage unlikely. "The agreement also preserves and expands critical access for US poultry and egg producers and addresses Canada's discriminatory wheat grading process to help USA wheat growers along the border become more competitive".

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"The Democrats are in a different position", Lester wrote.

He appended that they do away with NAFTA. A number of the their concerns will be addressed in the implementing legislation that will have to be brought forward for ratification, he added.

Asked about Trump's comments, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said "this is part of the USA ratification process" but declined to comment further.

Now that it's been signed, reopening the deal is a non-starter, Dziczek said.

The business world seems to be reacting favorably to the U.S. MacNaughton said Canadian diplomats will rev up their machine to lobby members of Congress for their support.

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