Economy

Canadian PM Trudeau says a 'little more work' is needed on USMCA trade deal

Key Points
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said a little more work is needed to be done on the USMCA,  which has run into opposition from some U.S. Democrats over labor and environmental provisions.
  • Officials are trying to agree on a series of tweaks to overcome concerns that provisions aimed at ensuring Mexico lives up to commitments on labor reforms are not strong enough.
  • Mexico is the only one of the three nations to ratify the deal, while Canada says it will move in tandem with the United States.
Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Canada, on Oct. 23, 2019.
David Kawai | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said a little more work needed to be done on a new continental trade deal which has run into opposition from some U.S. Democrats over labor and environmental provisions.

Officials are trying to agree on a series of tweaks to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to overcome concerns that provisions aimed at ensuring Mexico lives up to commitments on labor reforms are not strong enough.

"There is still a little more work to do," Trudeau said ahead of a meeting with Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister Jesus Seade. "Canada is extremely supportive of Mexico's steps towards labor reforms."

Seade, the Mexican official in charge of USMCA negotiations, was due to hold talks on Friday with Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Seade said on Wednesday that adjustments could be made to how labor disputes are handled to help push through USMCA ratification. But earlier in the week he said Mexico would not accept what he called intrusive U.S. demands for greater labor market oversight.

Mexico is the only one of the three nations to ratify the deal, which was signed almost exactly a year ago. Canada says it will move in tandem with the United States.

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Nancy Pelosi says a USMCA trade deal breakthrough could be 'imminent'
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Key Points
  • Democrats have negotiated for months with the Trump administration on changes to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the White House's replacement for NAFTA.
  • Seeking a win as Trump's trade conflicts shake the global economy, the president and congressional Republicans have pushed for Pelosi to bring up a vote to ratify the deal by the end of the year.
  • Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday that his government would send a letter to Pelosi this week urging Congress to approve USMCA.