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Canada to ratify new NAFTA next week following U.S. Senate approval: Trudeau

Last Updated Jan 21, 2020 at 5:16 pm MST

Summary

Canada will move next week to formally approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Justin Trudeau says


'Millions of Canadians depend on stable, reliable trade with our largest trading partners,' the prime minister says


Last week, the Republican-led U.S. Senate passed its so-called implementation bill of the new USMCA


OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced Canada will move next week to formally approve North America’s new, long-delayed free trade pact.

Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday the government will introduce a ways and means motion Jan. 27, when Parliament resumes, and will table legislation to ratify the deal two days later.

“Millions of Canadians depend on stable, reliable trade with our largest trading partners — from farmers in Alberta and auto workers in Windsor, to aluminum producers in Saguenay and entrepreneurs in St. John’s or in Vancouver,” he said.

That will effectively remove the final legal hurdle in preserving continent-wide trade after President Donald Trump foisted the acrimonious renegotiation of the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement on Canada and Mexico in 2017.

“Obviously there are going to be many conversations to come between our excellent House leader, Pablo Rodriguez, and the other parties as we negotiate our way through and ensure that the ambitious vision that Canadians have for a healthier country, a more prosperous country, a country that is fighting climate change, a country that is ensuring everyone gets a real and fair chance to succeed, that we move forward in an aligned way in the House of Commons,” Trudeau added.

“On NAFTA, those discussions will, of course, engage and activate — accelerate — as we move forward with ratification processes in the House, but what we’ve been doing is reminding everyone in the House and across the country of how important it is to secure our most important trading relationship for future generations.”

In the coming weeks, Trudeau says the government will start the process for a new gun control strategy, which includes a nation-wide ban on assault rifles.

“Weapons designed to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time have no place in our communities,” he says.

Last week, the Republican-led U.S. Senate passed its so-called implementation bill of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

The Liberal government had been waiting for the U.S. to formally ratify the pact before introducing its own bill, after Mexico ratified the deal back in June.

“We are going to make sure that we move forward in the right way, and that means ratifying this new NAFTA as quickly as possible, but responsibly, in the House of Commons,” Trudeau added on Tuesday.

The prime minister also said his government will continue moving on its climate change initiatives, create measures to make life more affordable in Canada, and in the coming weeks, start the process for the new gun control strategy, which will include a nation-wide ban on assault rifles.

With files from Cormac Mac Sweeney