After nearly 14 months of negotiations, a trilateral trade pact named USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) was reached last fall. All attention has been focused on ratification given that the existing NAFTA will remain in place until its revamped version is fully ratified.
However, US Democrats said that the deal without changes won’t have their vote, nor will they allow a vote in the USCongress until Mexico changes its labor laws. In addition to these sticking points, Canada has expressed that it will not sign the deal as long as the US-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs are in place.
“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.
Heyman said that Republicans have been pushing Trump to drop the tariffs, which were imposed by the US last spring in the midst of NAFTA talks, citing national security concerns as their justification.
“I think he’s in a really bad place on this deal,” Heyman said of Trump.
Canada responded with its countermeasures on American steel, aluminum, and other goods. Canadian officials have already said these retaliatory measures will be lifted the minute the American dropped its tariffs.