The First Casualty Of The Incoming Democratic House: Trump's New NAFTA Agreement?

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Posted: Nov 13, 2018 6:05 AM
The First Casualty Of The Incoming Democratic House: Trump's New NAFTA Agreement?

President Trump promised to take a different tone in our trade deals if he was elected President of the United States.  He has kept his promise on that front, renegotiating a trade agreement between Canada and Mexico. It’s North American Free Trade Agreement 2.0, though the president doesn’t particularly like that term. The deal is done. And it was originally reported that all three nations could sign the agreement by the end of the month (via USA Today):

Canada has agreed to join the United States and Mexico in a trade deal that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. and Canadian officials said…

“Today, Canada and the United States reached an agreement, alongside Mexico, on a new, modernized trade agreement for the 21st century: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a joint statement. "USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region."

"It will strengthen the middle class and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half-billion people who call North America home," Lighthizer and Freeland added.

[…]

The last-minute deal will provide the U.S. with greater access to Canada’s dairy market, an issue that had been considered vital for U.S. dairy manufacturers, a senior administration official told reporters. 

The text of the new deal was to be submitted to Congress late Sunday and is expected to be signed by all three countries by the end of November, the official said. 

“This is a big win for the United States, Mexico and Canada,” the official said.

But then Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives in the recent 2018 midterms, possibly putting this agreement in jeopardy if there aren’t explicit protections for American workers (via NYT):

President Trump’s promise to quickly pass a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement has been upended by the midterm elections, with Democrats who will soon control the House vowing to withhold their support to extract greater protections for American workers.

Administration officials remain confident they will corral the votes for the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which Mr. Trump speedily negotiated in September to claim a big win on one of his signature issues before the November elections.

While White House officials considered pushing the revised deal through the coming lame-duck session, they did not want to risk a backlash from lawmakers in both parties.

Democrats, emboldened by their midterm win and eager to outshine Mr. Trump as defenders of the American worker, are unlikely to sign off on any deal that does not include significant changes that labor leaders and newly elected progressives are demanding. That could involve reopening negotiations with Mexico, although American and Mexican negotiators have both publicly ruled out that possibility.

So, anyone else ready for the non-stop knife fights between the Trump White House and the Democratic House?