Sunday, May 05, 2019

Death Watch for NAFTA II

The Great Negotiator seems to have doomed his vaunted USMCA trade deal. The Bungler-in-Chief Trump has once again screwed the pooch.
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.


Owen Gray said...

Should anybody really be surprised? The Art of the Deal was hogwash.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yeah, pretty much. What now? Who knows?

Purple library guy said...

Well, I hate NAFTA, but I hate NAFTA II even worse, so I'm totally fine with that idiot screwing it up. I am, for instance, totally not interested in having any American milk up here.
But really, who hits you with something bad as a bargaining chip and then leaves it in place after you make the bargain?! Even the Mafia knows that, after they accept the offer they can't refuse, you put away the kneecap hammer and say "See, look how good it is to be my friend". Geeze, even a Conservative government might find it impossible to sign after that kind of slap in the face. But the Liberals? They'd look like such massive wimps, they don't dare.