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March 14, 2020 10:30 AM, EDT

USMCA Moves Closer to Implementation as Canada Gives Its OK

USMCATrucks at the Canadian border via the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario. (Cole Burston/Bloomberg News)

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The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement has moved one step closer to being ratified by all three nations.

On March 13, the Canadian Senate approved USMCA without any amendments, advancing the treaty quicker than expected in part due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Earlier that day, the House of Commons, after weeks of debate, approved the legislation by unanimous consent after holding the mandatory three readings.

The bill next will be presented to Canada’s governor general for what is called “Royal Assent,” or approval. After that, a final “Order-In-Council” will be requested — the final step in obtaining authorization to ratify and implement the agreement.

The approval by the House of Commons was the last official act before the legislative body suspended its session because of the coronavirus.

However, the Senate will remain in session while adopting temporary precautions to stem the impacts of the virus, according to a March 12 statement.

On Jan. 16, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the USMCA after the House of Representatives approved the measure in December. The treaty also cleared Mexico’s Legislature last year. The USMCA was signed more than a year ago by President Donald Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada but had to be approved by the legislatures in all three nations before it could be implemented.

The Trump Administration is pushing to have all of the supporting documents to the agreement in place by late spring and have the treaty go into effect later this year.

American Trucking Associations was one of several industry groups that strongly supported the measure and worked with Congress to help advance it.

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