New NAFTA Faces Long Road Before Implementation

The updated North American Free Trade Agreement has many procedural hurdles to pass before farmers and ranchers can see any benefits. President Trump called the agreement a “promise kept” regarding his trade agenda, as NAFTA will become the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement or USMCA. The late-night announcement Sunday allows the Trump administration to beat a self-set deadline. The administration must allow for a statutory 60-day notification period before sending a deal to Congress. Given the way the timeline works under Trade Promotion Authority, the administration set a deadline at the end of September to complete the talks to allow Mexico’s outgoing President to sign the pact before a new administration takes over. However, Politico reports that if the U.S. House of Representatives switches leadership to Democrats, the chamber may be inclined to vote against the Trump win in 2019, when the agreement will likely be before Congress. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said House Democrats would “closely scrutinize the text” of the NAFTA proposal.