President Trump said he will give Congress an ultimatum on the USMCA deal.
Congressional Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, who is in line to become Speaker of the House in January, have criticized the proposed NAFTA replacement as not going far enough to protect the environment or workers in the U.S. Mexico. "We look forward to working with Congress to get USMCA passed into law as quickly as possible".
Both chambers would need to sign off on the agreement before it could make its way to Trump's desk to be signed into USA law. If Trump pulls out of NAFTA and the House rejects the new pact, it could deal a major blow to North American free trade.
"I think this new U.S. Mexico Canada trade agreement is great".
The move comes as leaders in congress mull over the agreement, with neither Republicans nor Democrats happy with the new agreement.
Dziczek said she's anticipates a scenario where Trump signs a formal intent to withdraw, but ignores the fact that congressional approval would be required to repeal the underlying legislation that enforces the terms of the original agreement - a scenario she's dubbed "zombie NAFTA". "While we'll have to watch and ensure we get through this next stage, we have a high level of confidence that's achievable".
Asked whether Canada took Trump's comments seriously, Morneau replied: "We take everything seriously".
What's more likely is months of political horse-trading as Democrats and Republicans alike make their support contingent on other political initiatives, such as the controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which protects illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S.as children. MacNaughton said Canadian diplomats will rev up their machine to lobby members of Congress for their support.
The United Auto Workers, a longtime critic of NAFTA, raised similar concerns after the ceremonial signing of the trade pact in Buenos Aires.