Looking for more information on duty-free imports of goods under the new trade agreement? To learn more about certification requirements, click here. USMCA Certification On December 19, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the USMCA with the support of all parties by 385 votes (Democracy 193, Republican 192) to 41 (Democracy 38, Republican 2, 1).  On January 16, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the trade agreement by 89 votes (Democrats 38, Republicans 51) to 10 (Democracy 8, Republican 1, Independent 1) and the bill was forwarded to the White House for the signature of Donald Trump.  On January 29, 2020, Trump signed the agreement (Public Law No: 116-113).  NAFTA has been formally amended, but not the 1989 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which is only “suspended.”   The USMCA will have an impact on the way Member States negotiate future free trade agreements. Section 32.10 requires USMCA countries to notify USMCA members three months in advance if they plan to enter into free trade negotiations with non-market economies. Article 32.10 authorizes USMCA countries to review new free trade agreements. It is generally speculated that Article 32.10 targets China.
 In fact, a senior White House official said of the USMCA agreement: “We were very concerned about China`s efforts to undermine the U.S. position by reaching agreements with others.”  On March 1, 2019, many organizations representing the agricultural sector in the United States announced their support for the USMCA and asked Congress to ratify the agreement. They also called on the Trump administration to continue to support NAFTA until the new trade agreement is ratified.  On March 4, House Ways and Means President Richard Neal predicted a “very hard” path through Congress for the agreement.  Starting March 7, senior White House officials met with members of the Ways and Means House of Representatives, as well as moderate cackles from both parties, such as the Solver Caucus, the Tuesday Group and the Blue Dog Coalition, to seek ratification support. The Trump administration also withdrew from the threat to withdraw from NAFTA as negotiations with Congress continued.  Negotiations focused “primarily on car exports, steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as the milk, egg and poultry markets.” A provision “prevents any party from enacting laws that restrict the cross-border flow of data.”  Compared to NAFTA, the USMCA increases environmental and labour standards and encourages domestic production of cars and trucks.  The agreement also provides up-to-date intellectual property protection, gives the U.S. more access to the Canadian milk market, imposes a quota for Canadian and Mexican auto production, and increases the customs limit for Canadians who purchase U.S. products online from $20 to $150.
 The full list of differences between USMCA and ALEFTA is listed on the Website of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).  New entrants to the Mexican and Canadian markets will also benefit from a lower cost to reach consumers. Express delivery drivers in the United States, which carry many poor quality shipments for these distributors, are also benefiting from reduced costs and increased efficiency. To support North American jobs, the agreement provides for new trade rules to get higher wages, making 40 to 45 percent of the automotive content of workers earning at least $16 an hour. On May 30, U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer presented Congress with a draft declaration on the administrative steps needed to implement the U.S.-Mexico Agreement (USMCA and the new NAFTA), in accordance with the 2015 Presidential Trade Promotion (TPA) Administrative Action Statement.