United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal Still Awaiting Vote by Congress

By NTD Newsroom

Whether the trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada—called the USMCA—will pass this year remains an open question.

The trade deal was agreed to by the three countries nearly a year ago. It has been approved by the Mexican senate, but both the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament have yet to vote on it.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Nov. 6, cited “positive momentum” in the U.S. process to ratify a new North American trade deal.

“It is a pleasure to see the positive momentum that seems to be happening on this renewal of this very important trade deal,” Trudeau said at the start of talks in Ottawa.

In the United States, the trade deal must win approval by both Republicans, who control the Senate, and Democrats, who control the House.

Republicans worry the deal could get bogged down in the 2020 U.S. presidential election race if U.S. lawmakers do not ratify it soon.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto (L), President Donald Trump (C), and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, after signing a new free trade agreement in Buenos Aires, on Nov. 30, 2018. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images)

Democrats have taken issue with the enforcement, labor, environment, and prescription drug provisions of the agreement. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last Friday it’s possible it won’t be ready till next year.

Representative Kevin Brady, ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, told reporters last Thursday that “an awful lot of progress” had been made on the Democrats’ four key areas of concern.

“I think they’re getting close on this, and I’m just pleased with the progress that’s being made,” Brady said. “I’m convinced we can get this done and to the president’s desk this year.”

According to an analysis by the U.S. International Trade Commission, the USMCA could increase U.S. GDP by $68 billion and create 176,000 new jobs.

Reporting by Kitty Wang.

Reuters contributed to this report.