Deal on new Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement close

OTTAWA — A deal on amending the new North American free trade agreement appears close following a busy weekend, with hopes Canada, Mexico and the United States will approve a rewritten deal in the next 24 hours.

The deal was signed by the three countries last year, but U.S. ratification has been stalled for months as Democrats in Congress and organized labour have pushed to strengthen its labour enforcement provisions against Mexican objections.

Multiple reports, however, suggest the stalemate could be over following a weekend of intense negotiations in Washington.

Dan Ujczo, an Ohio-based trade lawyer with law firm Dickinson Wright and an expert in Canada-U.S. trade, says labour unions in the U.S. are to be briefed on the proposed amendments this afternoon, with the hope they will agree to the changes.

The amendments would then go back to the Trump administration as well as the Canadian and Mexican governments for their approval.

Ujczo nonetheless warned that implementing legislation would still need to be passed by each of the countries, which could create new challenges and obstacles before the agreement comes into force.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Dec. 9, 2019.

The Canadian Press