In this file:
· Will Congress Ratify The U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement?
… Gregg Doud, USTR’s chief agriculture negotiator, said it could be the toughest congressional trade vote since 2005 when Congress narrowly passed the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement…
· Mexico’s Government Says Ratification Of USMCA Contingent Upon End To Section 232 Aluminium And Steel Tariffs
… ratification of NAFTA’s successor hinges in large part upon the Trump Administration lifting the Section 232 tariffs on imported steel and aluminium…
Will Congress Ratify The U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement?
By Anna-Lisa Laca, Farm Journal's Milk, Online and Business Editor
via AgWeb - March 6, 2019
When U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer gets the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) to the finish line and to the Hill for debate, will Congress ratify it? This week Gregg Doud, USTR’s chief agriculture negotiator, said it could be the toughest congressional trade vote since 2005 when Congress narrowly passed the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement.
“There is a lot of shoe leather that needs to be expended by U.S. agriculture” to get the deal passed, Doud said pointing out that this will be the first trade deal many new lawmakers vote on. “We have no idea” what their position on trade is, he said.
The devil is in the details, according to Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) who serves as chair of the Senate Ag Committee and also sits on the Senate Finance committee which will be responsible for bringing the vote to the full senate.
“If agriculture is going to go through all this, we want to make sure this is actually an improvement and has enforcement that we need,” she told AgriTalk host Chip Flory, adding ratification will depend on enforcement details. “For instance, in the area of dairy and the language on class seven milk is a step in the right direction, but is it enforceable? I have big questions about whether or not anything will really change.”
House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass) predicts it won’t be an easy sell for the Trump administration...
more, including audio [11:58 min.]
Mexico’s Government Says Ratification Of USMCA Contingent Upon End To Section 232 Aluminium And Steel Tariffs
06 March 2019
Echoing the United States’ northern neighbors, officials from the Mexican government confirmed over the weekend the position that ratification of NAFTA’s successor hinges in large part upon the Trump Administration lifting the Section 232 tariffs on imported steel and aluminium.
While renegotiating the trade deals in which the United States government is a party was (and continues to be) a priority for the Trump Administration, the leaders of the Mexican government have maintained a laser-like focus upon improving the parity between its own labor force and that of its northern neighbors.
Now, with socialist reformer Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the helm in Mexico City, enhancing the position of workers and trade unions has become yet more important.
“With the agreement or without the agreement, this is something central to President Lopez Obrador — strengthening workers’ rights and strengthening trade deals in Mexico,” explained Mexican deputy trade minister Luz Maria de la Mora.
With that in mind, de la Mora said that Mexico’s Congress sought to have a labor-reform package in hand by the end of April “so we can reflect the commitments that we’ve made under the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement in domestic legislation.”
However, the package won’t be sent to Congress before ratification of the USMCA, and that is contingent upon the removal of the Section 232 tariffs on aluminium and steel.
Despite agreeing in principle to the tenets of the USMCA, de la Mora says that her government is perfectly comfortable with continuing on with the current agreement.
“We hope to have this new agreement in place. But in the absence of the new agreement, we know that NAFTA is good enough,” she said.
De la Mora was not alone in her assessment, as similar sentiments were expressed by Mexican senators earlier this week...