Trade Compliance

GHY discusses changes to international trade regulations and explores cutting-edge compliance strategies.

USMCA Approved, Focus Shifts to Ottawa

Posted January 22, 2020

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed an overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement last Thursday by a vote of 89 to 10. President Trump said he plans to sign the bill.

The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaces the 26-year-old NAFTA, updates many of the trading rules between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Key changes in USMCA are designed to address 3 things:

1. Digital technologies which barely existed when NAFTA was signed

2. Safeguard environmental and labour standards in Mexico

3. Toughen the origin requirements for auto-industry trade among the three countries

“USMCA is now the new gold standard against which all future trade agreements will be judged,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer declared.

The Last Hurdle - Canada

Canada is left to ratify the revised North American trade deal, as Mexico approved the new version of USMCA last month.

Quick items to take note of:

  • The Canadian Parliament isn’t scheduled to return until January 27
  • With a minority government, the Liberal government needs the support of another party to pass the Canada-US-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), the official name in Canada
  • Opposition Conservatives have indicated they would support ratification
  • Trade deal is expected to pass after various legislative committees review it
  • UCMCA/CUSMCA is expected to enter into force by mid-year provided that;
  • Ratification by all three countries has occured and all federal regulations needed to implement USMCA/CUSMAs administrative provisions have been finalized

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