The governments of Canada and Mexico and President Donald Trump have all taken action toward approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to succeed the North American Free Trade Agreement.
On Wednesday, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland presented a “ways and means” motion to the House of Commons in Canada’s Parliament that allowed for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to introduce bill C-100, “An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States” (otherwise known as the “CUSMA Implementation Act”), The New American reported.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he is going to summon Mexican senators for an extraordinary session and officially send them to the text of the USMCA to begin ratification of what Mexico calls the “Tratado entre Mexico, Estados Unidos y Canada,” which is Spanish for the Mexico-United States-and-Canada Treaty.
And White House officials said Trump would send the draft “Statement of Administrative Action” on USMCA to Congress Thursday, which would allow the administration to send the full agreement to Capitol Hill within 30 days, The Washington Post said.
Trump’s action is controversial because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has urged Trump to allow more time for Democrats to review the deal and try to achieve changes to it.
Pelosi has been planning to slow walk the agreement, in part due to her personal conflict with Trump, The New York Times reported Thursday.
A group of congressional aides is traveling to Mexico to review the labor provisions in the pact, Bloomberg reported.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., said in a statement Thursday, “Democrats have been clear about the need for improvements to the renegotiated NAFTA as it stands now.”
“As the committee has outlined, the current agreement does not adequately protect American workers and the environment, limits Congress’ ability to address rising U.S. health care costs in the future, and fails to provide effective enforcement tools,” Neal said.
“The timeline for the consideration of a renegotiated NAFTA will be determined by the completion of the work that remains to be done by Democrats and Ambassador [Robert] Lighthizer to address these concerns. The premature submission of a draft statement of administrative action has no impact on that outstanding work or the timeline moving forward.”
Corn Refiners Association President John Bode issued a statement Thursday applauding Trump’s action: “By solidifying the important trading partnerships with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, the USMCA stands to greatly benefit U.S. farmers, ranchers, and agri-business.”
“With the submission of his Statement of Administrative Action, President Trump brings us one step closer to achieving this crucial agreement,” Bode said. “America’s corn refiners eagerly await swift Congressional consideration and ratification of the USMCA.”
Mexico and Canada represent the two largest markets for refined corn products, Bode noted, averaging more than $900 million in shipments a year.
Source: Jerry Hagstrom, DTN
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