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Ag Reacts to USMCA Signing

05 December, 2018, 04:22 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Donald Trump says he'll terminate Nafta

The National Retail Federation welcomed the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and called for the measure - which would replace the landmark North American Free Trade Agreement - to be approved by Congress next year.

The leaders of Canada, Mexico and the US signed a revised North American free trade pact Friday on the margins of the G20 summit in Argentina that is set to govern more than $1.2 trillion in regional commerce.

Canada takes U.S. President Donald Trump's comments about pulling out of NAFTA seriously and has no indication when the White House might act, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Monday, Reuters reported.

The issue could ultimately be decided by the USA courts.

Democrats want a trade bill that strengthen protections for American workers in the wake of lower-cost options overseas, particularly in the wake of General Motor's announcement to shutter five US factories.

Speaking following the signing of the USMCA deal, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said: "The new USMCA makes important specific changes that are beneficial to our agricultural producers". However, it doesn't go far enough to institute a fair-trade framework that benefits family farmers and ranchers and restores US sovereignty.

"Today's signing comes after two years of pointless uncertainty and reckless threats to NAFTA from the Trump administration, which raised roadblocks to investment and economic progress across New Mexico".

Legislators in Canada and Mexico must still approve the pact.

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Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., a prominent free-trade advocate, said in an interview that he could not support the agreement as drafted because he believes it would diminish trade across the continent.

Colin Robertson, the Vice President and a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, notes it still has to be sealed by the legislatures in all three countries and, while he doesn't anticipate problems in Canada or Mexico, the big question is the American Congress.

"We had an exchange of notes with the Americans that said if something happens with the NAFTA, the FTA would come back into being", said John Weekes, Canada's chief negotiator on the original deal.

Lawmakers in both parties are still reviewing the details, and many are making no promises as they work to ensure exporters in their home states can thrive under the proposed trade ground rules.

What has Congress said about this?

Two other Democratic Senators, Mark Warner of Virginia and Sherrod Brown of OH, fell short of a commitment to back the agreement on Sunday.

The leaders of the three countries agreed on a deal in principle to replace NAFTA, which governs more than $1.2 trillion of mutual trade, after acrimonious negotiations concluded on September 30. "What isn't in it yet is enough enforcement reassurances regarding workers, provisions that relate to workers and to the environment", she said. The United States should protect its sovereignty over the interests of other countries.

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