U.S. midterms bring new sources of trade uncertainty for Canada

Experts says the Democrats’ majority victory in the House of Representatives means ratification

Canadians are inspecting the fresh U.S. political landscape following midterm election results that many believe have added fresh trade-related uncertainty.

Experts says the Democrats’ majority victory Tuesday in the House of Representatives means the ratification of the recently struck United States-Mexico-Canada deal, known as USMCA, will likely have to wait well into 2019.

Trade expert Lawrence Herman says he expects the pact to eventually gain approval — but he warns there’s a risk the agreement-in-principle could crumble, especially if Democrats decide the deal’s passage isn’t politically advantageous for their party.

READ MORE: Democrats come on strong in House races, but Republicans make Senate inroads

Either way, Herman says Canadian businesses now face new unknowns as they try to make export and investment decisions.

Canada will also scrutinize the midterm results for other cross-border impacts, including the fate of the Trump administration’s painful tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from north of the border.

Unifor president Jerry Dias, whose union represents auto workers, says now that the midterms are over Canadian MPs from all parties must apply more pressure to secure the removal of unjust tariffs he argues were imposed to score political points with the Republican base.

The Canadian Press

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