The Canadian Parliament officially approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on March 13, allowing the three countries to begin implementing the agreed-upon standards for trade. The Canadian Parliament ratified the USMCA before taking a five-week break in response to coronavirus concerns.
“Now that the USMCA has been approved by all three countries, an historic new chapter for North American trade has begun,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a press release. “This landmark achievement would not be possible without President Trump’s leadership and determination to strengthen our economy, and the hard work of our negotiating partners in Canada and Mexico. USMCA is the gold standard by which all future trade agreements will be judged, and citizens of all three countries will benefit for years to come.”
The agreement takes effect 90 days after all three countries approve it – on or about June 12. Canada was the last party to adopt the trade agreement after it previously had been ratified by Mexico in June 2019 and enacted by the United States in January 2020.
“USMCA is a great victory for America’s agriculture industry, and I am pleased to see Canada’s Parliament approved the deal,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “USMCA locks in and expands access to our neighbors to the North and South.”
The USMCA trade agreement will preserve or expand upon critical market access for U.S. agricultural products in the North American market. In addition to maintaining a tariff-free environment for most agricultural goods, USMCA also will help address non-tariff barriers, which are of paramount importance among the current global challenges that distort and slow cross-border trade flows. Among other benefits, USMCA will: Facilitate cross-border trade flows through higher levels of regulatory coherence and cooperation; implement timelines and notifications for adverse import checks; include steps to reduce the likelihood of trade disruptions in products of agricultural biotechnology; deploy technical consultations to more expeditiously resolve sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) disputes; and require that SPS standards be grounded in science and based on proper risk assessments and implemented using accepted risk-management techniques. Read more about USMCA here.