On March 13, the Canadian Senate approved the United States-Mexico-Canada Treaty (USMCA), including the protocol with amendments signed on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, between the three parties. This protocol includes the elimination of biotechnology drug patents, and gives the congresses of each country the power to regulate them as they wish. The governments will work on implementing the agreement, which is expected to enter into force in mid-2020.
The original agreement signed between the three parties to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) incorporated provisions to regulate patents on biotech drugs. However, the Democratic Party, which had a majority in the U.S. Congress and was key to its ratification, requested the elimination of this provision in order to allow each country to regulate this issue individually.
With Canada’s ratification of the USMCA, the governments will start working on the implementation process and its entry into force, enabling the necessary adjustments to be defined and putting the treaty into effect over the next three months, by mid 2020.