The midterm election has come and gone with some changes for the U.S. Congress, along with farmers and ranchers. The House of Representatives will have a Democrat majority and the Republican majority increased in the Senate. Make no mistake, with political power shifting slightly in Washington — Canadians are paying attention.
The big questions are whether there will be gridlock or compromises to achieve some legislative wins for both sides of the political spectrum.
“There is a movement underway to find some compromises in some areas like health care costs, infrastructure, and possibly immigration,” according to Jim Wiesemeyer, Washington analyst for Pro Farmer.
Canadians are waiting on pins and needles for whether Democrats will make noise on labour and environmental standards of the USMCA. RealAgriculture founderShaun Haney thinks that, “we may hear some squawking, but if you look at the dairy compromises Canada gave, Collin Peterson and his Democrat colleagues have bigger bears to chase in the next legislative calendar after the new congress is sworn in.”
With a Canadian federal election coming in fall of 2019, pressure to ratify USMCA prior to June and the need to lift Section 232 on steel and aluminum tariffs, the Canadian government wants the NAFTA 2.0 chapter closed.
“Potentially Trump is going to tilt towards the middle in the first six to nine months to get some things done,” says Wiesemeyer.
Dig deep into the possible midterm impacts for U.S. and Canadian farmers in the below discussion between Wiesemeyer and Haney.