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Canadian Parliament approves USMCA

The Canadian Parliament rushed to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade pact Friday, March 13, before taking a three-week break designed to help stop the spread of the coronavirus that has led to an outbreak of COVID-19. The USMCA is designed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

According to a report from Reuters March 13, Canada was the last of the three signatories to formally adopt the pact.

The House of Commons, which had weeks of deliberation left, agreed to approve the pact March 13 after opposition legislators dropped their objections. Reuters reports that the upper Senate chamber backed the pact later in the day.

“Now that the USMCA has been approved by all three countries, a historic new chapter for North American trade has begun,” U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer states.

In a letter to Congress, Lighthizer sent notice of an entry-into-force date of June 1 for USMCA, according to the Reuters report.

“The USMCA is a win for the North American recycling industry,” says Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) President Robin Wiener. “The market and policy certainty that comes with the agreement will support the 130,000 U.S. jobs ... and the industries that depend on these critical materials.”

According to the association, U.S. recycling industry jobs and more than $7.7 billion of U.S. scrap imports and exports are bolstered by key components of the trade agreement, including tariff-free access in Mexico, improved and accelerated customs clearances, indirect recognition of the ISRI specifications as industry standards; and increased demand for scrap through enhanced rules of origin requirements for the automotive sector.