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February 17, 2020

Prime Minister Says Canadian Parliament Will Ratify USMCA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with U.S. lawmakers last week and, according to the National Post, assured them that the Canadian Parliament soon will approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Indeed, the Post seemed to agree with that assessment. USMCA implementation legislation currently is before the House of Commons. The National Post said passage is expected to come in “spite of the Liberal government’s minority status and a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the New Democrats, who have asked for a thorough review of the agreement, and the outright opposition of the Bloc Quebecois.” Opposition Conservatives are expected “to grudgingly support the deal in the name of Canada’s economic interests.”

As Politico reported last week, however, Canadian lawmakers also must work through opposition to the final deal from the Canadian aluminum industry, which feels “a last-minute change in the USMCA amounts to a loophole for Mexico to import cheap aluminum from places like China to produce auto parts.” That provision requires that steel be melted and poured in Canada, Mexico, or the United States in order to meet the 70 percent threshold. Aluminum is not included in that specification. The USMCA instead requires that the three nations “revisit the aluminum provision in 10 years to see if such a definition is necessary.”