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Canada to start ratification of N.America trade deal

(AFP)

The Canadian parliament will begin ratification of the new North American trade pact next week, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, as the deal moves close to implementation.

The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), first signed in 2018, was bogged down in multiple political complications, but its amended terms were finalized in December.

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The pact will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which President Donald Trump has often complained has been “a disaster” for the US.

Trudeau told reporters legislation would be introduced on January 29 “to ratify the deal.” 

“Passing the new NAFTA in parliament is our priority,” he said.

Last week the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve the pact, which will now be signed by Trump. Mexican lawmakers adopted the amended terms last month.

Trudeau has denied charges that he sacrificed the nation’s aluminum industry to reach the deal.

The new agreement stipulates that 70 percent of the steel and aluminum used in cars in North America must be produced in Canada, the United States or Mexico.

It specifies that the steel must be molten metal poured in North America, but that is not the case for aluminum, which could open the door to the use of Chinese metal recycled in Mexico.

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