New NAFTA deal takes step forward towards ratification

The trade deal designed to replace NAFTA is one step closer to full ratification.

On Tuesday, the federal government announced that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland signed an agreement on amendments for the new deal, which is being called the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

The amendments were required to get the Democrat-controlled US Congress to sign on to the new deal. It includes “improvements,” as the Canadian government called them, in state-to-state dispute settlement, labour protection, environmental protection, intellectual property and automotive rules of origin.

The release came after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced they had agreed on amendments that would let them sign off on the revised agreement.

The agreement has to be ratified by all three nations’ elected houses. Not having the support of the US democrats was blocking the deal from coming to fruition.

“This is a day we’ve all been working to and working for on the path to yes,” Pelosi said in a news conference streamed on Twitter.

“We were in range for a while, but until we could cross a certain threshold for enforcement for our workers, for our environment and the drugs issue” the democrats wouldn’t say yes, she said.

“There is no question the new trade agreement is better than NAFTA. It is infinitely better than what was proposed by the (Trump) administration.”

US President Donald Trump tweeted about the Democratic Party’s approval.

“America’s great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good. It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody – Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions – tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!” he Tweeted.

He followed up with a second tweet:

“Looking like very good Democrat support for USMCA. That would be great for our Country!”

The White House’s official Twitter account also announced the new deal, saying that it’s time to “…get USMCA over the finish line.”

In Canada, Freeland views it as a good deal as well.

“I am delighted that Canada, the United States, and Mexico have today taken an important step towards ratification of the new NAFTA,” she said in a written statement.

“This is a progressive trade agreement that will be profoundly beneficial for our economy, for Canadian families, and for the middle class. It is excellent for hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers.”

According to a press release, the focus has been on preserving jobs, fostering growth and supporting Canadians.

“These improved outcomes make the deal more progressive, will further strengthen the trilateral economic relationship, and support the efforts of each of the three countries toward ratification and implementation of the new NAFTA,” the press release said

“Canada remains committed to working closely with the United States and Mexico to ratify and implement the new NAFTA, and to supporting Mexico’s historic labour reform efforts.”

According to the press release, trade between the three nations reached USD 1.2 trillion.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Tuesday’s developments “great news” for Canadians, Americans and Mexicans.