President Donald Trump hailed his revamped North American trade agreement with Canada and Mexico as a breakthrough for U.S. workers on Monday, vowing to sign it by late November.
But it still faces a lengthy path to congressional approval after serving for two decades as a political football for American manufacturing woes. Embracing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which the Canadians joined just before a Sunday midnight deadline, Trump branded it the "USMCA," a moniker he said would replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.
The president noted that the agreement would need to be ratified by Congress, a step that could be affected by the outcome of the fall elections as Democrats seek to regain majorities in the House and Senate.
NAFTA has long been a lightning rod for criticism among labor unions and manufacturing workers since it was being negotiated in the early 1990s during President George H.W. Bush's administration and later implemented by President Bill Clinton. The new version would give U.S. farmers greater access to the Canadian dairy market.
But it would keep the former North American Free Trade Agreement dispute-resolution process that the U.S. wanted to jettison. It offers Canada protection if Trump goes ahead with plans to impose tariffs on cars, trucks and auto parts imported into the United States. We look into how USMCA will impact California.
With files from the Associated Press
Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics; director for the Center of Economic Forecasting at the UC Riverside School of Business