New North American trade pact signed but faces challenges
by Harvest Prude
Posted 11/30/18, 11:33 am
U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the United States–Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on trade Friday in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The deal replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the 1990s pact that Trump vowed to dismantle. The Trump administration is celebrating the signing as a win for all three countries, but the deal still needs ratification from Congress to take effect. The administration will have to win over skeptical members of next year’s Democratic-controlled House who wanted stronger environmental and labor protections. Forty-six Republicans have also raised concerns about LGBT nondiscrimination provisions in Chapter 23 of the agreement and are waiting to hear if the provisions will be watered down or amended.
The Trump administration has up to 60 days to submit a list of any changes or updates to U.S. law required for the deal to take effect, then additional time to iron out the final text. In the meantime, lobbyists can continue to haggle over how the provisions will be implemented and enforced. Under fast-track rules, Congress will receive the final text for a straight yes or no vote, with no possibility for amendments.
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Harvest is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and a reporter for WORLD.