More than six months after the United States, Mexico and Canada agreed a new deal to govern more than $1 trillion in regional trade, the chances of the countries ratifying the pact this year are receding.
The three countries struck the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA) on Sept. 30, ending a year of difficult negotiations after U.S. President Donald Trump demanded the preceding trade pact be renegotiated or scrapped.
But the deal has not ended trade tensions in North America. If ratification is delayed much longer, it could become hostage to electoral politics.
The United States has its next presidential contest in 2020, and Canada holds a federal election in October.
The delay means businesses are still uncertain about the framework that will govern future investments in the region.
“The USMCA is in trouble,” said Andres Rozental, a former Mexican deputy foreign minister for North America.