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Highlights of trade deal passed by Canada

Canadian lawmakers approve USMCA, U.S. Grains Council thrilled to see its completion.

Compiled by staff

March 17, 2020

2 Min Read

Canadian lawmakers on Friday voted unanimously to pass the updated North American Free Trade Agreement.

The agreement, known as the CUSMA in Canada and USMCA in the U.S., was signed into law by President Trump in January and passed in Mexico last year.

"USMCA locks in and expands access to our neighbors to the north and south," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

Here's a look at key provisions of the trade deal:

  • America’s dairy farmers will have expanded market opportunities in Canada for a wide variety of dairy products. Canada agreed to eliminate the Class 6 and 7 milk pricing programs.

  • The agreement institutes a more rigorous process for establishing geographical indicators and lays out additional factors to be considered in determining whether a term is a common name.

  • The three countries agree to strengthen disciplines for science-based measures that protect human, animal, and plant health while improving the flow of trade.

  • U.S. poultry producers will have expanded access to Canada for chicken, turkey, and eggs.

  • Canada agrees to terminate its wheat grading system.

  • The three countries agree to avoid technical barriers to trade through non-discrimination and transparency regarding sale, distribution, labeling, and certification of wine and distilled spirits.

  • Maintains zero tariffs on U.S. feed grains, co-products and ethanol;

  • Provides the highest enforceable sanitary and phytosanitary standards in any trade agreement to date;

  • Addresses regulatory equivalence, science and risk analysis, transparency and cooperative technical consultations;

  • Creates a rapid-response mechanism to address trade challenges;

  • Modernizes border procedures; and

  • Includes an enforceable biotechnology chapter – the first ever in a U.S. trade agreement.

Related:USMCA being heard in Canada's parliament

“Our leaders and members are thrilled to see the completion of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement's approval process and look forward to it entering into force," said U.S. Grains Council chairman Darren Armstrong, a North Carolina farmer. “All told, we believe this agreement will solidify our most important and strategic trade relationships with our closest neighbors and best customers, and it will position our industry to continue to grow with our friends and partners in Mexico and Canada."

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who helped negotiate the deal, said passing the trade deal would provide an economic boost to help counter the damage to the country's economy from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Washington Examiner.

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