Canada ratifies USMCA

Published in the March 2020 issue of North American Government News

On Friday, March 13, 2020, Canada ratified the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).  The U.S. had previously ratified the agreement in January and Mexico last June.

The Canadian action occurred more quickly than was originally anticipated. Parliament decided to finish work on USMCA in anticipation of suspending Parliament due to the Coronavirus situation. As a result, the Canadian Senate approved USMCA without any amendments. Earlier that day the House of Commons had approved the legislation by unanimous consent after holding the mandatory three readings. Shortly thereafter the bill received Royal Assent, where the Governor General acting on behalf of the Monarch approved the bill that was passed by Parliament.

With approval by all three governments a three-month period begins for each country to agree on implementing regulations, including naming each country's representatives for the conflict resolution mechanism.

The Trump Administration is working to have the supporting documents to the agreement in place by late spring allowing the treaty take effect later this year.