On Friday, March 13, 2020, after months of delays, the Canadian Parliament passed legislation to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) on trade, making Canada the third and final country needed to ratify – Mexico ratified it on June 19, 2019 and the U.S. ratified it on January 29, 2020. The USMCA replaces and seeks to improve the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Once the Senate approves the legislation, it will require royal assent from the Governor General to become law. With Canada’s ratification, the three-month implementation period will begin, giving the three counties time to discuss the regulations that will administer the mechanics of the USMCA.

The news come amidst the five-week closure of the House of Commons in an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In a statement to reporters on Friday, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, indicated that passing the trade deal would provide an economic boost that would help counter the damage to the country’s economy from the coronavirus pandemic. [1]

HazloLaw – Business Lawyers will monitor additional developments as they become available.

[1] Sean Higgins, “Canada Ratifies USMCA Trade Deal, Replacing NAFTA” (Washington Examiner, March 13, 2020), https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/economy/canada-ratifies-usmca-trade-deal-replacing-nafta)