Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Congress moving on USMCA trade deal

The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday passed a motion to recommend the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), setting up a vote on the bill by the full House this week.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada will probably be the last to ratify the deal. Parliament is not scheduled tp resume until late January.

In prepared remarks published ahead of the action, Ways abd Means committee chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said the legislation makes the agreement enforceable by preventing a country from being able to block the formation of a dispute-settlement panel.

The agreement includes methods to monitor and address violations of labor obligations; labour terms in Mexico was one of the terms the Democrats demanded to gain their support for the new deal.

The bill also provides for more than $600 million in funding for environmental problems in the region and reauthorizes the North American Development Bank.

What farmers in both the United States and Canada seek most is a return to stability in trade terms.