Canada must harness its new trade deals

by Colin Robertson

The Globe and Mail
November 5, 2018

Hold the cheers for the trade agreements, whether CETA, CPTPP or USMCA. There is still work to be done before Canada’s governmentcan claim victory for the acronyms we now associate with our new trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific and North American trade pacts.

All three are important, but with three-quarters of our trade being within North America, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is critical. Tuesday’s U.S. midterm elections will tell us whether the Republicans retain their majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, but it will be January before we know the make-up of the key committees – House Ways and Means and Senate Finance.

We will likely see cherry blossoms in Washington next spring before U.S. President Donald Trump tables the USMCA implementing legislation for committee consideration and then up-or-down approval by Congress. Will Democrats, who consistently opposed trade agreements including the original North American free-trade agreement (NAFTA) back the Trump deal?

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