U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will be ready to be put into effect on July 1. Ambassador Lighthizer sent a notice to Congress on April 24 indicating USMCA implementation will usher in a new era of trade in North America.
“The crisis and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates that now, more than ever, the United States should strive to increase manufacturing capacity and investment in North America,” Lighthizer said in a press release. “The USMCA’s entry into force is a landmark achievement in that effort.”
Both Mexico and Canada have reportedly taken the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the new trade agreement. Once USMCA goes into effect it will reportedly bring about fairer and more balanced trade between the countries involved and help support freer markets and economic growth. USMCA includes several provisions to modernize the trade relationship between the three countries, with new approaches to access for agricultural products and new rules of origin.
There has been concern among some business leaders regarding the new trade deal coming into effect at a time when markets have been thrown into uncertainty due to the global pandemic. There have also been several members of Congress who have expressed concern, encouraging the Trump Administration to hold off on implementing the new trade agreement. “Under President Trump’s leadership, USTR will continue working to ensure a smooth implementation of the USMCA so that American workers and businesses can enjoy the benefits of the new agreement,” said Lighthizer.
USMCA implementation will be the final step in the years-long process of negotiations to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Originally agreed to by all three countries in December 2019, President Trump signed the agreement into law in late January. Canada was the last country to ratify the agreement back in March.