With much fanfare Trump bragged about the USMCA replacement for NAFTA. Canada still has not ratified that agreement, and perhaps won't at all.

The Wall Street Journal reports Canada Links Trade-Deal Approval to Steel Tariffs.

Canada’s foreign minister indicated Monday the government might delay ratification of the revised North American free-trade deal until the Trump administration lifts its tariffs against Canadian steel and aluminum. “The existence of these tariffs for many Canadians raises some serious questions about ratification,” said Ms. Freeland, in Washington to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and members of Congress.

Given the scandal-fueled political atmosphere and other pieces of legislation on the agenda, Canadian political watchers have said getting the trade deal ratified before summer would prove difficult—and politically unwise given the steel and aluminum tariffs and general animosity in Canada toward President Trump.

Pelosi May Sink the Deal on the US Side

It's not just Canada that may nix this deal. Also consider New Nafta Is Threatened by Partisan Split Over Enforcement

Led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats want the administration to add provisions to last year’s pact with Canada and Mexico that will ensure Mexico enforces environmental protections and allows its workers to form unions freely.

“Right now, the president’s Nafta update can’t be enforced,” said Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees trade. “No matter how good a deal looks on paper, it doesn’t mean much if you can’t make sure the other countries live up to their end of the bargain.”

The USMCA requires ratification in the House and Senate as well as legislatures in Canada and Mexico before it could replace the original Nafta that took effect in 1994.

If Mrs. Pelosi’s party remains unified, she could block consideration of USMCA, either by changing the rules of the House or triggering a mechanism inserted by Mr. Wyden into the fast-track trade law—which governs how trade pacts are passed—that would prevent the agreement from getting expedited consideration

Trump's Trade Deal Scorecard

The self-alleged best deal maker in history does not have a single ratified deal in two years.

Instead, he has infuriated Canada, Germany, and the EU in general.


When Trump backed out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) he put US farmers at a serious disadvantage in selling agricultural goods to Japan.

By the way, even if USMCA is ratified by the US, Canada, and Mexico, for the US, the Changes are Trivial.

Viewed in that light, Trump's scorecard is zero even if this passes.

How to Not Make Deals

  1. Infuriate allies
  2. Not understand trade is a two-way street

Trump views every deal as having a winner and a loser and he insists on winner every time.

In reality, both sides have to benefit or there would not be deals.

Results Speak

And let's not forget the result of his tariff actions to deduce the trade deficit.

Image placeholder title

The most likely way Trump "succeeds" at reducing the trade deficit is via recession.

For discussion, please see Mission Impossible: Tariffs Didn't Reduce the Trade Deficit (Deals Won't Either).

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Triple Tantrum: Stocks Sink, GOP & EU Outrage on Trump's Steel Tariffs

Trump announced sweeping new tariffs on steel and aluminum. The stock market threw a tantrum and so did GOP leaders.

Trump's Steel Tariffs Start Cascade of Downstream Pain

On Jan 24, Trump issued a proclamation on further steel and aluminum tariffs because the initial tariffs backfired.

Trump Warns Canada "Fair Deal or Out": Mish's Fair Deal Proposal

Trump wants a "fair deal". I propose both sides end all tariffs and subsidies.

Foolishness of Trump's Steel Tariffs in One Image

Trump hopes tariffs will bring back steel manufacturing jobs. It won't happen.

Trump Announces Deal with Mexico, "We’ll See" About Canada

"Big deal looking good," says trump as he drops the name NAFTA due to "bad connotations".

More Tariff Madness: Trump Targets Steel, Aluminum

Trump administration ponders a global tariff of at least 24% in a mad effort reduce the trade deficit and save jobs.

Trump's Tariffs Show He's "Clueless About Trade"

What does Trump know about tariffs and trade deficits? Steve Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University provides the answer.

NAFTA is Dead: Trump Seeks Separate Agreements With Mexico and Canada

Trump proposes NAFTA by another name. But it won't look like NAFTA. He wants tailored bilateral trade agreements.

Trump Tariffs Hit Newspaper Industry Hard: And Canada Strikes Back

Tariffs on Canadian softwood forced up the cost of newsprint. Newspapers are laying off employees, and Canada responds.