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USMCA legislation approved in Commons amid concerns about Canada-U.S. border
National flags representing Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. are lit by stage lights at the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, renegotiations, in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Marco Ugarte
OTTAWA -- The leader of the government in the House of Commons says MPs have passed legislation to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and the Senate is expected to follow suit later today.
Pablo Rodriguez made the announcement as he detailed a multipartisan deal to suspend the House until April in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Canada is the only signatory in the three-way North American trade deal still to ratify it, a cornerstone of U.S. President Donald Trump's trade agenda.
Doing so could help Canada in its discussions with the U.S., which is banning foreign nationals who recently visited Europe -- a move some fear could put pressure on the Canada-U.S. border and the flow of trade and commerce between the two countries.
Once the Senate approves the legislation, it will only require royal assent from Governor General Julie Payette to become law.
At that point, the clock starts on a three-month period to give the three countries time to hammer out the regulations that will govern the mechanics of the agreement.