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Trudeau Avoids Delay Tactic In Push To Ratify USMCA

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received much-needed support for getting the proposed NAFTA replacement across the finish line, after his minority Liberal government successfully repelled an effort to delay the trade deal’s ratification. Supported by the left-leaning New Democratic Party, Liberals rejected a push Tuesday by opposition Conservatives to refer the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement to six different committees before Canada’s House of Commons could approve the bill. CBC News reports that the Conservative measure would have delayed the ratification process by over a month as additional public comment and amendments were put forward. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says the international trade committee will conclude their hearings next week, and warned that any delay in ratifying USMCA would create economic uncertainty. USMCA was ratified last summer by Mexico, followed by bipartisan approval of the deal in Washington last month. The ratification process north of the border has grown increasingly difficult for Prime Minister Trudeau, who lost his working majority in October’s federal elections and left him needing 12 votes from other parties to advance his agenda. Additionally, protestors who oppose the construction of a pipeline through First Nation tribal lands continue to blockade key sections of Canada’s rail system, with the protests entering a third week and creating more unease in Ottawa.

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