Canada takes first step toward ratifying new North American trade deal

The United States struck deals on May 17 to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico, removing a major obstacle to legislative approval of the trade pact.
The United States struck deals on May 17 to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico, removing a major obstacle to legislative approval of the trade pact.PHOTO: AFP

OTTAWA (REUTERS) - Canada took a first step toward ratifying the new North American trade agreement on Monday (May 27) just three days ahead of US Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Ottawa to discuss the passage of the treaty.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland presented what is known as a "ways and means motion" to the House of Commons, which opens the way for the formal presentation of a bill.

The United States struck deals on May 17 to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico, removing a major obstacle to legislative approval of the trade pact.

That same day, Pence said he would travel to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on May 30 to discuss"advancing" ratification.