Longer timeline to ratification of CUSMA comes as no surprise
It is no surprise that the timeline to ratification of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) just got longer as the U.S. House of Representatives recessed last week without moving forward on their domestic ratification process for the new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). CUSMA will allow beef producers across the three countries to continue to thrive and maintain a positive impact on the Canadian economy. A delay in implementing the new agreement is not a significant concern for the beef sector as long as the existing NAFTA remains in effect. With American lawmakers gone on a five-week break, U.S. ratification of the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) before the start of the Canadian federal election is unlikely. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed to moving in sync with the U.S. on ratification. The CCA’s view is that there is no urgent need for Canadian Parliamentary action this summer as long as the existing NAFTA remains in place.
In June, Mexico became the first of the three nations to ratify the new NAFTA following the signing of the modernized trade pact by the three political leaders in November 2018. In May, the Prime Minister Trudeau tabled Bill C-100 “An Act to Implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America, and the United Mexican States,” or the enabling legislation to implement CUSMA. Second reading took place on June 20 and the bill was referred to the Standing Committee on International Trade. The Bill did not pass prior to Parliament adjourning for the summer. CCA Vice President and Foreign Trade Committee Chair Bob Lowe appeared before the House of Committee prior to the Parliamentary recess to express CCA’s view that the Government of Canada ratify the CUSMA. Having access to markets around the world, including the North American market, means that each beef carcass is on average worth $602 more than it would be if sold only to the Canadian market. Having the agreement ratified in all three countries would help provide long term continuity of existing rules-based access for beef producers to North American markets.