CUSMA taking effect at ‘significant’ time for Alberta’s energy industry: cabinet minister

Trudeau praises new CUSMA trade agreement, coming into force on Wednesday
WATCH ABOVE: (From June 29, 2020) Speaking to reporters outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the new Canada - United States - Mexico trade agreement (CUSMA), coming into force as of this Wednesday.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (CUSMA) took effect on Canada Day and the new North American trade agreement comes at an important time for Alberta’s energy industry and economy as a whole, according to one cabinet minister.

“As we begin to reopen our economy, the timing of the CUSMA is significant, especially for our province’s energy sector,” Economic Development, Trade and Tourism Minister Tanya Fir said in a news release Wednesday.

“Because Alberta’s energy industry is highly integrated throughout North America, this is a signal to investors they can look to our province with increased confidence as an attractive investment destination.”

READ MORE: Canadian crude-by-rail exports drop by half in April as fuel demand saw sharp drop 

Watch below: Some Global News videos about Alberta’s energy sector.

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Alberta’s energy industry has been battered by a price war between some of the world’s other major oil producers and by a drop in demand which experts attribute to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

CUSMA was created with the goal of ensuring that more people in all three countries that are part of the agreement can reap its benefits, according to Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. and a key player in the trade negotiations.

Among the provisions included in CUSMA are stricter North American content rules for automobiles, new protections for intellectual property, measures to addresses currency manipulation and new rules on digital commerce.

READ MORE: New North American trade deal launches amid tariff threats 

The agreement replaces NAFTA, which launched in 1994. U.S. President Donald Trump had pushed to renoegotiate the previous accord which he has referred to as the “worst trade deal ever made.”

“Alberta relies on the free flow of trade and investment for job creation across all sectors of the economy,” Fir said. “This agreement will serve as the foundation of our economic relationship with our North American partners — including our largest trading partner the United States — for years to come.

“This is an important milestone for Alberta, and for Canada.”

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Fir added that she believes CUSMA will allow the province to “accelerate the flow of Alberta’s goods and expand our exports throughout North America.”

READ MORE: Alberta boosts infrastructure spending by 40%, cuts business tax to bolster economy

CUSMA is taking effect as trade tensions between the U.S. and Canada appear to be continuing as the Trump administration is threatening Canada with new aluminum tariffs.

–With files from Reuters and The Canadian Press

Watch below: Global News coverage about trade tariffs.