President Donald Trump managed to find common ground with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and agreed to a trade deal in place of NAFTA on Aug. 27. But Congress has been reluctant to allow President Trump to put pen to paper and make the trade agreement binding because the United States has not been able to reach a similar deal with Canada.
But why do we need Canada’s approval on a trade deal that is independent from them? Of course, Canada is a North American ally that we should continue trying to broker a trade deal with. But in the meantime, we should sign the trade agreement with Mexico.
There is no reason to wait for Canada if an agreement with Mexico has already been reached. The deadline to sign with Mexico may also expire soon because President Pena Nieto’s term expires in December.
Congress, however, doesn’t necessarily agree. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has oversight of trade, said Tuesday, “I still think the best thing for North America is a seamless three-country trade agreement, however the ball right now is in Canada’s court.”
The ball right now is in Canada’s court? It does not make sense that the United States is forced to wait for Canada to decide whether to join in on this agreement. It has nothing to do with the relationship between the United States and Canada, nor does it require condemning Canada. This is about a trade deal that was already agreed to and made. It should not be stalled; it should be signed.