USMCA fast tracked for consideration

Mexico’s Senate approved the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) June 19, the first of three countries to do so. Jeśus Seade, Mexico’s undersecretary for foreign affairs, announced the news on Twitter, posting “Mexico goes first with clear signal that our economy is open. We’re confident our partners will soon do the same.”

On May 30, the White House submitted a Statement of Administrative Action (SAA) to fast-track USMCA congressional negotiations over the during the next 30 days. Once the 30 days conclude on June 29, the White House can submit formal legislation that must be considered by Congress within 90 days. All nine members of the House of Representatives Democratic USMCA Working Group met June 19 to discuss next steps for their engagement with the administration on the agreement.

According to the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU), there is concern that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may remove the USMCA from fast-track consideration, as she views it as a strategy to end negotiation and force congressional action. She previously removed fast-track consideration from the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement in 2008, delaying congressional adoption for several years. The White House and congressional leaders are currently negotiating labor and environmental protections, as well as several other aspects of the USMCA.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Trump met last week to discuss the USMCA, among other topics.