In his State of the Union address to Congress last night, President Donald Trump spoke of the “great American comeback” and claimed that “[t]he years of economic decay are over.  The days of our country being used, taken advantage of, and even scorned by other nations are long behind us.” His prepared speech focused briefly

On January 29, 2019, President Donald Trump signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and in remarks at the White House stated that the agreement is “the largest, fairest, most balanced, and modern trade agreement ever achieved.” He added that the agreement is “a colossal victory for our farmers, ranchers, energy workers, factory workers, and American

The U.S. Senate has approved by a vote of 89 to 10 the required implementing legislation for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). After months of negotiations by Democrats in the House of Representatives with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (see Trump and Trade Updates of December 10, 2019 and December 16, 2019), H.R. 5430 was

After reaching agreement with congressional Democrats on the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) (see Trump and Trade Update of December 10, 2019), the Trump administration has forwarded to the Senate Finance Committee the necessary legislative text to implement the agreement. The House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways & Means will take up consideration of

On June 19, 2019, Mexico became the first of the three involved countries to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), which is intended to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In a nearly unanimous vote, Mexico’s Senate approved the trade agreement. The bill will now be sent to the Mexican executive branch for

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has released its report assessing the likely impact of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on the U.S. economy as a whole and on specific industry sectors and the interests of U.S. consumers. The report, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and Specific Industry Sectors (Investigation No. TPA-105-003, USITC Publication 4889, April 2019), was prepared at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and required by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.

In preparing its report, the USITC investigated the USMCA’s expected impact on the U.S. gross domestic product; exports and imports; aggregate employment and employment opportunities; and the production, employment and competitive position of industries likely to be significantly affected by the agreement. On its website, the USITC listed these main findings:

  • The elements of the USMCA that would have the most significant effects on the U.S. economy are: (1) provisions that reduce policy uncertainty about digital trade; and (2) certain new rules of origin applicable to the automotive sector. The report also notes that for many industry sectors, particularly services industries, the USMCA’s new international data transfer provisions should be of interest, including provisions that largely prohibit forced localization of computing facilities and restrictions on cross-border data flows.
  • Because NAFTA has already eliminated duties on most qualifying goods and significantly reduced nontariff measures, the USMCA’s emphasis is on reducing remaining nontariff measures on trade and the U.S. economy; addressing other issues that affect trade, such as workers’ rights; harmonizing regulations from country to country; and deterring certain potential future trade and investment barriers.
  • The USMCA would strengthen and add complexity to the rules of origin requirements in the automotive sector by increasing regional value content (RVC) requirements. The USMCA’s requirements on this matter are estimated to increase U.S. production of automotive parts and employment in the sector but also to lead to a small increase in the prices and small decrease in the consumption of vehicles in the United States.
  • The USMCA would establish commitments to open flows of data, which would positively impact a wide range of industries that rely on international data transfers. The agreement would reduce the scope of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, a change that, based on modeling results, would reduce U.S. investment in Mexico and would lead to a small increase in U.S. investment at home and output in the manufacturing and mining sectors.
  • Labor standards and rights would be strengthened, if enforced under the USMCA, including those related to collective bargaining in Mexico, which would promote higher wages and better labor conditions in that country.
  • New intellectual property rights provisions would increase protections for U.S. firms that rely on intellectual property.


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On November 30, 2018, the United States, Mexico and Canada officially signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a proposed free trade agreement that, if approved by Congress and ratified by the governments of Canada and Mexico, would revise and modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Known as “NAFTA 2.0” during the trilateral negotiations,

On February 27, 2019, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), testified before the House Ways & Means Committee on U.S.-China trade relations. In his brief opening statement, the ambassador stated that the United States “can compete with anyone in the world but we must have rules – enforced rules – that make sure

In his second State of the Union address to Congress, President Donald Trump noted that he campaigned on several core promises, including “to defend American jobs and demand fair trade for American workers.” He argued that his administration has “moved with urgency and historic speed to confront problems neglected by leaders of both parties over