How Soon can we Expect the USCMA?


Many cross-border shippers remain fairly assured that the pending United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will soon be ratified. Then, forwarded to the US Senate for final approval. 

But, is all this political back and forth, ironically, the only real hurdle to a fully ratified USMCA?

Some industry experts suggest that there are actually many elements that simply fall outside the control of the US Congress. These elements, they say, are what is holding up the approval of this much needed North American trade agreement. Likewise, upcoming elections in Canada are causing political delays and frustrating many businesses in the process. Combined, these businesses represent more than 50 percent of the GDP for all three countries. 

In this blog post, we'll take a look at a few of the reasons why the USMCA is still sitting on the shelf. More importantly, we'll talk a bit about when we might expect this pending trade agreement to be approved. 


What is the current status of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in Each Country?

On November 30, 2018, the United States, Mexico and Canada agreed in principle to a set of terms. However, the trade agreement faced three individual problems...

The first country to ratify the terms of the USMCA was Mexico, who passed their resolution on June 19th, 2019.

In fact, it was an overwhelming success, with 114 representatives voting for the agreement. Out of all 114, there were only 4 detractors. This was primarily based on how beneficial this new trade agreement is for the country of Mexico. That, and the lack of political bickering in a country without pending elections. 

The main issue has been the political climate between the US and Canada. In short, the Democratic party in the US and the Conservatives in Canada’s Parliament are refusing to budge based on disagreements with opposing leadership in each countries executive branch. 

Canada will likely be the first of the two to agree, as their nationwide elections will be held on October 15th, 2019.

Another possible hurdle is that the current Parliament is not in session, as they ended their term on September 15th. If Trudeau wins reelection, the USMCA should be ratified sooner rather than later. However, if the Conservative candidate is elected, this could cause even more severe disruptions, as he has been quite vocal in opposition. 


When can the USMCA Be Expected?

It really depends on who you ask.

According to the economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, the ratification process could be completed before the end of the calendar year. And this is a logical timeline as many of the concerns addressed by the Democratic party have been adjusted already.