Freeland en route to Mexico as new NAFTA deal appears close at hand | Power & Politics Freeland en route to Mexico as new NAFTA deal appears close at hand | Power & PoliticsBecause I’m breaking news for you now on the NAFTA front, the cbc’s Katie Simpson is bath with us. We have far as Katie is on her way, right now to Mexico City to attend that high-level NAFTA meeting with her American and Mexican counterpart, and what I’m being told is unless something catastrophic happens with the talks process or something vary wildly unexpected happen. This should be the moment. This thing is finally finalized. What we seen over the past a couple: it’s been a lot of momentum. Building the Americans, the US trade representative, the people representing Donald Trump, have been negotiating with the Democrat to hold the balance of power in Congress. They’Ve been negotiating. The Democrats want some changes. Some add-ons to this deal, to make it easier to enforce labor standards in Mexico. As well as environmental standards, they want some changes that will lower drug prices and they want some tweaks and changes to the dispute resolution system. After months of negotiations in the American level, Americans took those proposals to the Mexicans and the Canadiens for a couple of weeks of negotiations and a whole bunch of momentum. It looks like everyone is finally comfortable with what is going to be on the table and tomorrow again, unless there is something wild and crazy and unforeseen it looks like this is going to get across. The finish line is being reported in the United States and Mexico as well as now here in Canada that the moment – and this looks like it is going to be the final final to kick off the ratification process. I’Ve always said they don’t want to ratify the deal until they see what happens in the United States, because the domestic political situation is so dicey right now, because the Trump Administration, the Democrats that don’t really get along – and this has been something that outside that have Wanted to see get across the finish line and it looks like they found a comfortable Zone, a landing Zone as they say in trade. Talk language across this state networks are reporting. The American News agencies are saying that it could be as early as next week that the Democrats start that ratification process. There’S big concern in Canada that if this does not happen soon, the American political, your will sweep this all sort of to the side. Like the big election than 20/20 impeachment happening with the president’s all of those things friend overshadow any progress on this. This is considered a very significant step. War Logistics because I’m going to head to Mexico City have a good trip and we’ll get we’ll be looking forward to report from Mexico City thinks maybe the cbc’s Katie Simpson. So how close are we to go anything done Eric Miller? Is the president and founder of Rio Potomac strategy group he joins me now from Washington. Brian Kingston is the vice president of international and fiscal issues at the Business Council of Canada and he’s next to me here in studio hello, to both of you nice to see you thanks for. I miss your Miller. I’M going to start with you, I Eric what what is the latest about what you’re hearing? How close do things appear at the sounds like the Democrats have won over the Union’s, at least According to some reports in your opening of Jared Kushner and Robert lighthizer heading to Mexico, if those in fact bear themselves out, this is a very significant sign. What you saw down the stretch was a series of issues related to the US Mexico, where Canada was not particularly involved in the process, and so this is a very positive sign and suggest that things are imminent. Some of the things that were being talked about between the US and Mexico, Bryan & Co, food, stronger enforcement of the labor up for discussion between the two parties. The critical issue from between the US and Mexico was the agreement, and that’s what’s been discussed over the past weekend and only couple of weeks when we’re hearing is that they have reached an agreement on labor. The key sticking point was rather another of the inspections at Mexican facilities and it looks like they found a landing Zone there. That will be acceptable for the Mexicans on top of the data protection. For biologic drugs and most recently, there’s been some debate around stealing aluminum used in North American vehicles, but it looks like they reach agreement their so over. All this is all very positive weather on the Democrats, vet that leads M to make these kinds of asks where he was a very shrewd operator, and she knew that she wasn’t going to take this agreement going in. She has has, as you from the primary process, a very divided party, where you have a very deliberate moderates and those who call themselves socialists and labor is a very important constituency within the Democratic party. A constituency repeatedly has said that they were ignored and other trade negotiations, so she had to find a way to ensure that labor interest were looked after in this particular negotiation, so as not to encourage her party to fragment on trade in Waze had before. She also desperately wants to have 50 % or more of her caucus in the House of Representatives vote for the agreement, because she doesn’t want to be the speaker who pushes this through strictly on Republican votes, because, of course, that will make her home is very unhappy. All the time Brian, at least it appears like speaker Pelosi – is always up against the Trump Administration, especially in the bigger headlines that are dominating news Joseph. Why is this a potential win for both sides and why are they even willing to to give each other with? First and foremost, I think that the Democrats need to show that they can legislate Even In This Very toxic environment in Washington, so they need to get this passed to show that they can actually pass legislation have a functional Congress. Secondly, there is a lot of good things in here for us labor and things that the Democrats have been demanding for years. If they can’t support this agreement, I really question what trade agreement they would support, so I I think that they really have no choice. At this point. All of the Ross on labor have been met. The president of the AFL-CIO, Richard trumka, has had positive things. He was being briefed on the deal this evening and looks like he’s going to give it a thumbs up. So if you got the support of Labor, it’s it’s almost possible that they won’t move ahead with this agreement. What kinds of things Eric should we be watching for? If, in fact, there is a deal and we’re able to see what’s inside of it like? Are there any potential land mines that Canadians need to have their eyes on? But the final tax looks like on the biologics issue that Brian mention, because this goes fundamental into the bottom line, cost of Medicare, and so that’s something we want to see. The other thing has to do with how this enforceability of labor standards looks. Is it something that applies just a Mexico? Does it apply to the other countries, and I would be very concerned about potential funny business that could be done, we’re certain violations of Labor? I looked for and found, and these are used as a way of trying to impose trade measures on on Canada or in the more likely case on Mexico, and so we want to be sure that there is a process that allows for these things to be done. On an objective basis, not merely to have us authorities say: oh, I found a violation here. Therefore, we’re going to be imposing to duty on you on this particular product. Add one other issue related to to labor and it’s the broader enforcement mechanism descended deal. The Democrats wanted to make sure that this agreement would be fully enforceable across the board. So what they tried to do is enhance. What’S call the state to state scutellum a mechanism to get rid of a practice known as panel blocking, which is when one of the parties would basically block any formation of a paneled with trying to impress any consistency in the agreement. So I haven’t seen the text, but I really hope that it is absolutely rock-solid so that if Canada does, can you shoot down the road with us or Mexico? We can use that and we can make sure that other NAFTA members are compliant usmca members. What is your understanding of what that could entail? Capacity-Building that needs to be done in Mexico, with respect to a helping unions and and and helping the labor movement? More broadly, as there has been an ass there for not only an expert support which Canada has a lot of, but also a physical last they’re, looking for you for money to help make this functional. So I think that’s a good thing and it looks like no idea I tried to get it couldn’t understand. What kind of clock we’re up against here is particularly we’re. Ratification in the United States is concerned Shores. The Senate is due to leave town on the 13th of December, so Friday is not going to get ratified this year, but early in the new year, and it can easily be ratified. Have an agreement between the speaker, Pelosi and the White House and Mexico and Canada have bought on? There are really no obstacles to seeing this agreement go forward, and so I would expect, within the month of January, you could see the agreement pretty much ratified. It could spell over a little bit into February, but certainly I think the Democrats would be motivated to get this done before the primary and caucus process kicks off on the 3rd of February in Iowa. And so I would expect a pretty fast movement and will be no problems in the set it on this either as there’s an overwhelming support, General level of trade and its impact on the Canadian economy over the past, I guess to three-year how much will viscoe would Ratification of of the new NAFTA go towards mitigating some of that uncertainty. Obviously, with Sean is not going to get it all, but how far would it go? Do you think the Canadian economy for 2 and 1/2 years now, fortunately, the president hasn’t been threatening not to withdrawal a, but as long as his agreements been kind of out there? We had no certainty that we would continue to have this preferential relationship with the US. So well signing an agreement will be a positive step for going to be watching out, of course, will be actual voting and implementation of the deal, which I think is likely to happen and in the spring of next year. So with this behind us, I hope we’ll see you bit more business. Investment in the Canadian economy and trade are eyes are on any developments tonight. Thank you very much to both of you for your time this evening, thanks to Eric Miller and Ryan Kingston Seymour of our show, by subscribing to the CBC News Channel or link for another video Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is headed to Mexico City as the revised North American free trade agreement may be close to being ratified by the U.S. Congress. Reports suggest congressional Democrats may be satisfied with the text of changes proposed by Donald Trump’s trade representative.
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