Summer Passage of USMCA Looking Doubtful

Key lawmakers in Washington, D.C., cast significant doubt on the possibility of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement getting passed through Congress this summer. This comes in spite of  political pressure ramping up.

Politico says it’s looking like Democrats are sticking to their ideas that the agreement needs more changes, and that may push a vote on the House floor at least into the fall. Waiting that long will only increase the risk of the much-needed bill getting swallowed up in the politics of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-D), chair of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, said at an event last week in Washington, “It’s not going to happen. I think it’s very unlikely that something is going to happen before Congress heads out of town on the August recess.”

Just over half the nation’s governors co-signed a letter to Congress asking for rapid ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. In a letter dated Thursday, June 20, it says, “Nearly 25 years after passing the North American Free Trade Agreement, it’s time to update our trade policies with two of our most critical trading partners.” The governors, all Republicans, wrote that the USMCA is a “comprehensive, twenty-first-century trade agreement” which will protect trade secrets and intellectual property, prevents corruption, prevents importation of goods produced by forced labor, and expands the agricultural market by lowering trade barriers for farmers and ranchers.