Now that Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has dissolved Parliament and called for a general election (to be held October 21), chances of seeing the USMCA ratified by all three member states this year has become an increasingly remote possibility. However, the good news for USMCA supporters is that NAFTA’s replacement continues to enjoy support in Canada in both the Conservative and Liberal parties. In fact Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative party, has announced that he would support ratification of USMCA if elected Prime Minister, despite the fact that he believes Trudeau was railroaded in negotiations with the U.S.
Ratification by the U.S., which is a likely prerequisite to any vote by Canada, continues to find itself on shaky ground. Nevertheless, pressure continues to put USMCA to vote in the U.S. before late-November, but labor, the environment and enforceability continue to be sticking points. Moreover, the current impeachment discussions risk further delay, though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently announced that House Democrats are “making progress” on USMCA. If the U.S. manages to ratify USMCA in November, there remains the possibility that Canada could likewise get a ratification before the end of the year; however, as the days fly by that prospect becomes increasingly remote.