USMCA’s June 1 Start Date Postponed
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) won’t go into effect on June 1 as planned. The trade deal, which replaces the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), will be postponed due to coronavirus-related disruptions that caused U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials to miss a March 31 deadline necessary for the June 1 target.
The U.S., Mexico and Canada are working on certain uniform regulations so that the agreement can go into effect. With the delay, July 1 is now the earliest date the deal can happen, as rules written into it stipulate that it will enter into force on "on the first day of the third month following the last notification,” certifying the three countries have met their obligations.
In a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative on Monday, a bipartisan group of senators also pushed for the agreement’s delay. It noted, “Even absent the pandemic, a June 1 deadline would be highly aggressive, and raises questions as to whether businesses have the information they need to adjust to the new rules and comply by that date. We ask you to delay the proposed June 1 entry into force and work with Congress and stakeholders to determine a more feasible timeline.”
The delay does give the agreement’s signatories more to time to ensure they comply with it. Certain aspects still need to be worked out, including uniform rules on automobiles and identifying members of a panel to oversee the settlement of USMCA disputes.