Trade Ministers Discuss USMCA’s First Year in ‘Virtual Fireside Chat’

USMCA at One (Canada-US-Mexican Flags with Birthday Candle and Stars)

Trade Update • JULY 1, 2021

On Wednesday, trade ministers from the three countries gathered in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s coming into effect and to discuss its “achievements, challenges, and potential.”

At the virtual event, organized by the Wilson Center think tank, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the milestone was an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the trade partnership between the three countries and “comit to advancing a positive economic agenda that lifts up workers and communities.”

Responding to a question about implementation of the USMCA, Tai said it was “ongoing” and that from the Biden administration’s perspective, “work on this agreement is never going to be finished.” She explained that “trade agreements are about relationships and relationships are dynamic — the way we interact with each other, the mechanism for cooperation and building together and managing frictions is an ongoing process.”

The USTR touted USMCA’s new trade enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms that she said, “will help us promote the competitiveness of North America and respond to the policies of non-market economies that undercut our businesses and our workers.”

International Trade Minister Mary Ng reiterated Canada’s commitment to a successful implementation of the agreement, highlighting the trilateral trade relationship’s significant role in a mutual recovery from COVID-19 and, also, in making the North American economy more globally competitive for years to come.

Repeatedly stressing the importance of deeply integrated supply chains between the three countries, Ng said Canada was “eager” to find “solutions that will create further economic opportunities in all sectors including, agriculture, natural resources, energy, and emerging sectors like clean technology and sustainable infrastructure.”

Yesterday, the three ministers announced that they will be meeting again on July 7 “to continue the productive dialogue established during the first Free Trade Commission meeting, held in May 2021.”

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