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January 27, 2020

Canadian Parliament Will Take Up USMCA Ratification Soon

While U.S. President Donald Trump plans to sign the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) this week (Wednesday, January 29 to be exact), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week promised that ratifying the deal will be one of Parliament’s top priorities when it reconvenes this week.

Reuters reported that Prime Minister Trudeau said, “We are going to make sure we move forward in the right way and that means ratifying this new NAFTA as quickly as possible.” Parliament is expected to approve the deal by April.

Even then, however, the deal will not yet take effect.

According to Politico, “After ratification by Canada, the three countries must work to check off all the obligations outlined in the deal.” Only “once they have completed all required procedures” can the countries “notify each other in an exchange of letters.” The USMCA will then take effect 60 days after the letters have been exchanged. A former U.S. Senate aide told Politico this process “could take a long, long time” because “you could have members of Congress going to USTR and saying, ‘This is how you should interpret this,’ or private interests trying to get a word in on how certain provisions should be interpreted … Politics goes into it like everything else.”