It’s entirely possible that the United States Congress could ratify the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA/CUSMA) before Christmas, says Jim Wiesemeyer, Washington analyst for ProFarmer, as the votes are there — but will they?
There is still work to be done in Congress ahead of the holidays, Wiesemeyer says, including passing a spending bill, so ratification before this session ends is possible. That said, 2020 is an election year: if the USMCA ratification is pushed into the new year, the odds of ratification decline dramatically.
Congress will be dealing with impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump, and in an election year, people will be focused on campaigning.
Wiesemeyer says that while that may be the case, there’s really no reason to wait to move the agreement forward as there are enough votes to pass it, and there’s no question it will pass in the senate, he says.
There are still a few points of the agreement that could be up for discussion, namely some labour and environmental rule enforcement, but any large-scale changes would flip the agreement back to Canada and Mexico — which is unlikely.
Canada’s trade industry will be watching closely for ratification to happen sooner rather than later, with the hopes of adding back some stability with Canada’s largest trading partner, the U.S.
Listen/watch the discussion below with Shaun Haney: