Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks to reporters in Ottawa on November 22, 2018. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Canada has ‘high level of confidence’ USMCA will be ratified in U.S.: Morneau

Donald Trump said he planned to give formal notice of his intentions to withdraw from NAFTA, which would give American lawmakers six months to approve the USMCA

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau says Canada takes seriously comments made by U.S. President Donald Trump about withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But Morneau told a gathering in New York today he had no insight into when that might happen.

And the finance minister said he has a “high level of confidence” that the new pact negotiated to replace NAFTA will be ratified by all three countries involved.

Morneau made the comments at an event co-hosted by Politico and the Canadian consulate in New York.

He said it’s clear U.S. lawmakers are in the first stages of negotiations toward ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, known as USMCA.

On Saturday, Trump told reporters he planned to give formal notice of his intentions to withdraw from NAFTA, which would give American lawmakers six months to approve the USMCA or have no free-trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

READ MORE: Trump to kill old NAFTA to push Congress to approve USMCA

“We take everything seriously,” Morneau said when asked whether he took the president’s comments at face value. “While we’ll have to watch and ensure we get through this next stage, we have a high level of confidence that’s achievable.”

Larry Kudlow, Trump’s senior economic adviser, said he and Trump hadn’t spoken in detail about the president’s thinking.

“I think he’s trying to light a fire under Congress — that’s my guess, my hunch,” Kudlow told a conference call with reporters.

“The ceremonies, the signing — the president’s very happy with all of that. Everybody showed up. Trudeau showed up and so forth. And we’re rolling. Congress, on the other hand, is not rolling, and I think President Trump’s intent here was to light a fire under Congress.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay police seek suspect who broke into liquor store on Cadboro Bay Road

The incident happened at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

UPDATED: Police seize replica handgun, detain one person near Victoria elementary school

Quadra elementary locked-down as police investigated potential firearm report

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

B.C. to begin publicly listing COVID-19 school exposure events

Move follows weeks of criticism from parents, the public

Most Read