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Canada Working to Ratify USMCA Trade Deal
USAgNet - 01/22/2020

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday urged legislators to quickly approve a new continental trade pact but the main opposition party said it wanted to study the deal, indicating the ratification process could drag on.

According to Reuters, Canada is the only one of the three signatories not to have formally blessed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) deal and officials fret the process may well last until April. This could irritate U.S. President Donald Trump, for whom the pact was a major political victory in an U.S. election year.

Trudeau said his minority Liberal government would unveil legislation on Jan. 29 to ratify the USMCA, which will update the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Free trade is critical to the economies of Canada and Mexico, which both send around 75% of goods to their much larger neighbor.

The Liberals though no longer control the House of Commons and passing legislation requires the cooperation of other parties, which can if they wish slow down the process.

The main opposition Conservative Party, which complained the Liberals had not answered earlier questions about the USMCA, said it wanted to examine what it called potentially worrying aspects of the deal.

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