Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won Canada’s parliamentary elections Monday night. The party has, however, lost its absolute majority. “Tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity. They rejected cuts and austerity. They elected a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change,” said an evidently relieved Trudeau in his victory speech in Montreal.
One down, two to go. On Wednesday, the Mexican Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, becoming the first nation, of three, to ratify the new trade deal. The agreement was met with little resistance, relative speed, and enthusiastic celebration from the Mexican government upon ratification. That was the easy part. The USMCA still faces an uphill battle in Washington, and a race against time in Ottawa.
- In European elections, liberal Zuzana Caputova defeated Socialist Maros Sefcovic in the second round, to become SLOVAKIA’s first woman President. The election took place in the shadow of the murder of an investigative journalist last year. Meanwhile, in UKRAINE, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko trails Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian who portrays Poroshenko on television.
- New Zealand is still picking up the pieces after at least 50 people were killed, and another 50 were injured, in Friday’s terror attack, the worst in the country’s history. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spent the weekend visiting grieving family members and the Muslim community. The attacks, on two mosques in Christchurch, have also prompted a debate over gun laws. The Police Association has called for a ban on semi-automatic weapons, and the Prime Minister has pledged, “our gun laws will change.”
- Things have, for the most part, returned to normal, after a tumultuous week between nuclear-armed rivals, India and Pakistan. An Indian pilot was returned from Pakistan Friday, after being shot down over the disputed region of Kashmir on Wednesday. Now Washington wants to know if an F-16 was used in the dogfight.
- U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto concluded fifteen months of often contentious talks on Friday, and formally signed the US-Mexico-Canada agreement, or USMCA, which will replace NAFTA.
- Canada remains concerned over steel and aluminum tariffs, imposed by Washington, and left unresolved in USMCA. Prime Minister Trudeau used the signing ceremony as another opportunity to urge President Trump to drop them.
- The agreement must now be ratified by the legislatures of each country, which is far from certain. In both the new and old Congress, USMCA faces considerable hurdles, with everyone finding something to dislike.
- Traditional business conservatives object to USMCA as moving North America further from free trade, and leaving the United States “with diminished trading opportunities, rather than expanded trading opportunities with Mexico and Canada.”
- Social conservatives view sexual orientation and gender identity protections, included at Canada’s insistence, as a loss for American sovereignty.
- The president, and his supporters, are hailing USMCA’s signing as nothing less than a win for America.