Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government gave lawmakers formal notice it intends to bring forward legislation to ratify the new North American free trade agreement.
Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland introduced a “ways and means” motion in the House of Commons on Monday for the legislation, which is the first step in the process for parliamentary approval.
The procedure comes ahead of a visit to Ottawa by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who is scheduled to meet with Trudeau on Thursday to discuss advancing the agreement. A decision by President Donald Trump’s administration last week to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum helped clear major hurdles for lawmakers in all three countries to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
There is an element of urgency for Trudeau, who last week said he was eager for Canada to ratify the deal. Parliament is scheduled to break for summer recess in four weeks -- giving lawmakers in two legislative chambers little time to study and vote on the pact.
By Theophilos Argitis