'It's going to be a mess': Confluence of challenges threaten new NAFTA vote

January 24, 2019

A record-breaking government shutdown, an unpredictable batch of first-time congressional Democrats and an intensifying U.S. presidential campaign cycle are muddying the path to ratification for the new NAFTA — with some observers questioning whether the deal will even make it to a vote this year.

Though Canada’s ambassador to Washington, David McNaughton, expressed confidence about the deal’s passage as recently as last week, a confluence of challenges — including calls from some Democrats for a return to the bargaining table — are clouding the chances of a swift ratification, said Dan Uzcjo, an Ohio-based trade lawyer with Dickinson Wright.

“Right now I think it’s going to be a mess, I have to be candid,” said Uzcjo, who has been tracking the votes needed for a deal. “We’re in the middle of a shutdown, so that’s throwing the timetable off and we didn’t have a lot of time to begin with in 2019 to get this thing done. So I’m worried about both the procedural and political calendars right now, along with the players.”...

This was excerpted from the 24 January 2019 edition of the Financial Post.

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