Media Releases Apr 24, 2020

With U.S. ratification of CUSMA, Canadian Chamber calls for border flexibility

(OTTAWA, ON) – April 24 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s senior director of international policy, Mark Agnew, issued the following statement regarding the next steps towards the implementation of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA):

“Today’s announcement that the United States government has shared its ratification notification means the agreement will enter into force on July 1, 2020.

Today’s news is positive for Canadian trade, as CUSMA will provide Canadian businesses with a foundation for continued access into our most important markets for exporters and investors.

However, we hoped for the agreement to be implemented at a later date to ensure that Canadian businesses focus on managing the impacts of COVID-19. We thank Deputy Prime Minister Freeland and the government for its continued efforts to advocate for a delay past July 1 for CUSMA’s entry into force.

With today’s developments, our government must now focus on ensuring Canadian companies prepare for CUSMA’s entry into force. The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented strain on supply chains and the capacity of companies to deal with non-pandemic related challenges.

We urge Global Affairs Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency to make their full resources available to Canadian businesses. It is more important now than ever to ensure there are no disruptions to North American supply chains.

Given the rapidly changing circumstances of COVID-19, it will be crucial for all three governments to adapt their CUSMA implementation plans and provide flexibilities where they are required.”

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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Phil Taylor