In this episode of 60 Seconds, our Vice President Brian Kingston offers insight into what Prime Minister Trudeau needs to achieve in his meetings in Washington with President Trump and Speaker Pelosi.
Prime Minister Trudeau heads to Washington tonight for important meetings with President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The timing of this visit could not be better: the new NAFTA, or USMCA or CUSMA (whatever you want to call it) hangs in the balance as Congress considers changes to the agreement to allow for passage this year. Democrats control the House and their support of the agreement is required if it’s to be passed. There is a very short window for approval; the August recess begins July 26th and as we head into the 2020 Presidential Election, it will become increasingly challenging for a trade agreement to receive approval in Congress. So what does Prime Minister Trudeau need to do to make this visit is a success? First, he needs to reassure President Trump that Canada is on track to pass our implementing legislation and prepare to ratify this trade agreement before the October federal election. The second thing he needs to do is indicate that Canada is flexible and willing to work with the Democrats to address some of their concerns and make some targeted amendments to the trade deal, as required. Failing to have this agreement approved by Congress this year will put the Canadian economy at risk. We know that President Trump does not like NAFTA - he’s called it the worst trade agreement ever - and if he feels as though it’s being delayed in Congress, he may withdraw from NAFTA to put pressure on the Democrats. So now’s the time; let’s get this trade deal done.