Canada’s approval sets USMCA closer to implementation

06:31PM Mar 15, 2020
U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement USMCA
( File )

Canada’s House of Commons and Senate voted in favor of implementing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, one of the final hurdles before it becomes law.

The trade legislation, known as the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement in Canada, has been approved by Mexico and was signed by President Trump in late January.

Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, said Canada passing the USMCA provides much-needed trade certainties for the fresh produce industry.

“This marketplace is critical to the long-term viability of our industry and we congratulate the negotiators and political leaders for moving this new agreement forward,” Guenther said in the statement. “It will now be important to work with all three USMCA governments and industry stakeholders to ensure efficient and appropriate implementation of this new agreement."

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer issued a statement on March 13 after Canada’s Parliament approved the agreement.

“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,” according to the statement.

As with the North American Free Trade Agreement, which USMCA replaces, tariff-free fruits and vegetables will keep that status.

The three countries are working together closely on implementation in advance of the USMCA’s entry into force, according to Lighthizer’s statement.

A 90-day period has been set to allow the countries to work on final regulations, if necessary, before it is implemented.

Lighthizer’s office, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce, will be hearing testimony from growers and other stakeholders in Florida and Georgia on April 7 and 9 respectively on concerns about unfair trade with Mexico.

Although initial USMCA negotiations on behalf of U.S. growers sought the ability to include measures for claims of dumping and unfair trade, the final version doesn’t include those measures. Lighthizer, however, plans to investigate those claims outside of the USMCA.

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Florida, Georgia hearings set for concerns on unfair trade with Mexico

U.S. to investigate seasonal dumping, but not through USMCA

USMCA signed by Trump