Farmscape for February 13, 2019
|Full Interview 9:16||Listen|
The Canadian Global Affairs Institute says Canada’s lobbying efforts for ratification of the USMCA have shifted to prominent Democrats. The United States International Trade Commission is scheduled to reveal its assessment of the implications of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement for the U.S. economy by the middle of March but, as a result of the month long U.S. government shut down, the introduction of U.S. legislation to implement the agreement has been delayed. Colin Robertson, the Vice-President and a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says President Trump did announce in his State of the Union Address last week that he will be introducing implementing legislation but he didn’t set a date.
Clip-Colin Robertson-Canadian Global Affairs Institute:
We’re probably looking to late March, April, perhaps May before the President would introduce the implementing legislation and then, from a Canadian perspective, the first thing we have to do is to assure that the legislation accurately reflects the agreement that we negotiated and then secondly we’ll be doing advocacy with the members of the House Trade Sub Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee and putting more emphasis on prominent Democrats. Over the last year we focused on Republicans and leadership members in the House and the Senate but, with the new Senate and new House and, while many of the members of the Senate are saying there’s significant shift, it’s about 80 new members in the House of Representatives so we’ll be working to remind them of how important Canada is to their districts in terms of investment by Canada and in terms of Canada as an export market for goods and services produced in that district. At the end of the day all politics is local and so is all trade and, if the new members feel that the agreement works for their district, they’re more likely to vote for it.
Robertson doubts the governments of Canada or Mexico will move forward on the introduction of legislation to implement the USMCA until they’ve seen the American legislation.
For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.
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