The deal has been heralded as a win by all three countries although concessions were made, including on access to Canada's supply-managed sectors. Since the signing, all attention has been focused on ratification given that the existing NAFTA will remain in place until its revamped version is fully ratified.
As things stand, time is diminishing on that possibility given the amount of movement that would have to happen across North America over the next six weeks. That’s when Parliament rises for the last time before the October election will be called.
Among the obstacles yet to overcome: In the U.S. Democrats have said that the deal without changes won’t have their vote, nor will they allow a vote in Congress until Mexico changes its labour laws. In addition to these sticking points, Canada will not sign the deal so long as the U.S.-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs are in place.Former US ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, lays the blame at the feet of the Mango Mussolini and his trade negotiator.
"Let me be really clear that the USTR [United States Trade Representative] and Donald Trump mishandled this from day one. Had they just quickly passed a deal in 2017, signed an agreement between the three countries… in early 2018, he had the Congress, he had the Senate, he had the Mexican government in place, and there were no elections coming up here," Heyman said.
"He could have passed it, scored a victory, and it's done. They messed up the clock. Second, they did not collaborate or communicate with unions, nor did they work with the Democrats. So now they find themselves in a position where the Democrats, and the unions in the United States have a different perspective," he said.