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August recess further delays USMCA ratification

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Several commodity organizations hoped to see a finalized U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USCMA) ahead of the August recess. However, Congressional leaders have vacated Washington, D.C., and will not return until after Labor Day. 

Dave Salmonsen, American Farm Bureau Federation trade advisor, says negotiations will continue, however, as Democrats call for tougher enforcement of labor and environmental standards.

“I think a lot of it, of course, depends on how these talks go – Negotiations between the group Speaker Pelosi appointed and U.S. Trade Representative – again, directly with Ambassador Lighthizer,” Salmonsen said. 

Reports suggest Ambassador Lighthizer increased trust with Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats, narrowing the differences, which once divided all involved.

“If they can come to accommodations (and) agree on an implementing bill, then I think they can move it. September would be good,” Salmonsen said. 

On the other hand, tensions between the United States and China continue to surge. However, Salmonson notes there is still time for President Donald Trump to withdraw plans for a new, 10-percent tariff on remaining, untaxed Chinese exports to the U.S.

“This whole process started in June and then was halted. This is redoing what had begun back in June,” Salmonsen said. 

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