Canada Planning for USMCA Review

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is calling on Ottawa to step up defense of Canada’s trade interests with November’s U.S. presidential election drawing closer – especially with the upcoming six-year review of the USMCA trade pact in 2026.

Adding to cross-border trade concerns is the Canadian federal election scheduled for next year. The Trudeau Liberals, who have ruled in Ottawa now for ten years, are seeing growing support for Canada’s Conservatives led by a far more right-wing minded Pierre Poilievre.    

Canadians have been closely watching the initial steps leading up to this year’s presidential election. Following former president Trump’s strong results in the New Hampshire primary on the heels of the Iowa Caucus, Prime Minister Trudeau was quick to respond to upcoming USMCA review concerns…tape

Cut #1                   :27         OC:…”created on both sides of the border.”

“One of the really important things for any Canadian government is to continue to work constructively with whatever American administration is in place. There’s no question that Mr. Trump represents a certain amount of unpredictability. But we made it through the challenges represented by the Trump Administration for four years, where we put forward the fact that Canada and the US do best when we’re well integrated, when we recognize the prosperity that’s created on both sides of the border.”

When former president Trump threatened to terminate the longstanding NAFTA agreement, months of intense negotiations eventually landed the existing USMCA – which came into force in 2020. The first six-year review of the deal will happen in 2026, and if there is no consensus by all three parties at that time a self-destruct mechanism would be triggered and that trade agreement would expire ten years later.

Laura Dawson is the executive director of the Future Borders Coalition. Dawson says that all U.S. trade-invested countries are watching the progress of this year’s American presidential election, but she says election-outcome stakes are highest for Canada. The U.S. and Canadian trade supply chains are, by far, the most intertwined. Generally, a Biden Administration re-election is favored by about two-thirds of polled Canadians. Conversely, Laura Dawson says the USMCA trade pact review – taking place in a second Trump presidency – has most Canadians very concerned…tape

Cut #2                   :25         OC:…”those folks are gone from the picture.”

“I think Trump two is Trump one on steroids. The thing that saved us, in the first time around, was Donald Trump’s inexperience, and the fact he surrounded himself with relatively moderate Republicans able to tap Trump on the shoulder and identify the areas where hurting Canada would hurt the United States. Free-trade internationalist Republicans – those folks are gone from the picture.”