USMCA: Success in D.C. Does Not Mean Done Deal

President Donald Trump signed his signature trade deal with Mexico and Canada last week, but the three countries still must meet many of their obligations before the pact can take effect.

Specifically, Canada needs to ratify the deal. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged legislators last week to quickly approve the new continental trade pact, but the main opposition party said it wanted to study the deal, indicating the ratification process could be slow.

Trudeau lost his legislative majority in the October election.

Ratification in Canada is expected to wrap up by April, but the passage of USMCA does not trigger a timeline for the deal to become enforceable.
All three countries need to meet their obligations, and that’s a heavy lift.

Officials in the U.S., Mexico and Canada must spend the next months working to meet all the necessary obligations outlined in the deal. That includes Mexico making sure it is prepared to protect workers’ union rights and that all three countries have updated their rules that govern how cars qualify for reduced tariffs.

Once the countries have completed all the required preliminary work, leaders will notify each other in an exchange of letters. The deal will enter into force about 60 days after that exchange of letters.

The three countries are aiming for the pact to go into effect this summer, but trade experts say that’s an ambitious timeline.

A former aide to the president has cautioned that the pact may not be in force until 2021.

Sources: Politico, Reuters