On September 30, Canada, the United States and Mexico reached an agreement on a new, modernized trade agreement: The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The full text can be found here.
The conclusion of this negotiation speaks to the commitment of negotiators to uphold Canada’s interests and strive to strengthen relations with Canada’s largest trading partner. This modernized agreement maintains the tariff-free market access from the original NAFTA, and includes updates and new chapters to address modern-day trade challenges and opportunities.
The agreement provides key outcomes for Canadian businesses, workers and communities in areas such as labour, environment, automotive trade, dispute resolution, culture, energy, and agriculture and agri-food. Importantly, the USMCA recognizes the importance of progressive and inclusive trade, and includes language on gender and Indigenous peoples’ rights.
In the coming weeks, provincial officials will fully review the agreement and determine its scope of impact and implication for Alberta. In the meantime, we want to share some general conclusions, an initial assessment of Alberta-specific outcomes, and we encourage you to read the full document here.
The trilateral structure of the NAFTA will, for the most part, be retained. Most of the market access that Canada has under the existing NAFTA will also be retained. The successful conclusion of negotiations is a signal of reduced uncertainty for investors and businesses looking to Canada as a destination for investment.
The new agreement will not come into force immediately, as it must be ratified by all three countries. This includes the need to implement legislation in Canada and the U.S. Ratification of the USMCA in the U.S., this could take until late 2019 or early 2020 to conclude. In the meantime, the NAFTA is still in effect.
Key Outcomes for Alberta – Initial Assessment
Binational Review Panel for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Decisions (NAFTA Chapter 19)
U.S. Section 232 Tariffs
The Government of Alberta will continue to work closely with the federal government and other provinces and territories to analyze the agreement and monitor the ratification process and eventual implementation.
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