The Canada-United States-Mexico trade agreement is now in effect.

The agreement replaces the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and comes into force as the economy and international trade suffer from the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier John Horgan and Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness issued a statement to say they’re pleased to see CUSMA is now in force.

“A long-term trade agreement with the U.S. and Mexico represents certainty and stability for B.C. businesses, workers, investors, traders, and innovators as we build back our economy in the midst of a global pandemic.”

Premier Horgan and minister Mungall say the agreement preserves Canada’s preferential access to the U.S. and Mexico.

This will allow British Columbians to continue to take advantage of opportunities in many economic sectors.

“The agreement will maintain reliable rules for conducting trade and includes improved labour and environmental provisions. It also retains the independent dispute resolution system.”

Horgan and Mungall say it’s the final step in Ottawa’s commitment to ensuring Canadian competitiveness in international markets.