USMCA Now Law In The U.S.

On Wednesday, President Trump signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law. The USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has been in place since 1994 and represents approximately $1.2 trillion in trade among the three countries.

The USMCA’s provisions update NAFTA in several areas, including modernized intellectual property protection, digital trade and financial services markets, labor, environmental protection and other areas, and provide new enforcement mechanisms. The USMCA had secured the support of Republicans and business groups, but Democrats were pushing back on the legal language behind the new labor rules. The announcement today of a deal follows several days of negotiations with Mexico regarding a range of clauses touching on steel and aluminum, drugs, internet services and labor provisions.

While the USMCA is now law in the United States, its provisions do not yet take effect. The agreement must still be ratified by Canada’s government, and then the U.S., Mexico and Canada must work through a series of requirements defined in the deal. Reportedly, this process could still take months and involve considerable negotiations both within each country and among the three.

filed under January 2020
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