The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is slated to enter into force July 1 after all three partner countries reported that they have taken the domestic measures necessary to implement and comply with their commitments.

The Trump administration announced the effective date despite a call by the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee at its quarterly meeting April 15 to delay the entry into force of USMCA until no earlier than Jan. 1, 2021. “Now is not the time to implement a trade agreement that contains so many important and meaningful changes that will impact certain industries in a significant financial manner,” COAC said. If the agreement does take effect June 1, COAC said that “at the very least, CBP and its USMCA partners should grant enforcement discretion by way of an informed compliance period until the trade has had reasonable time to implement each administration’s regulatory and automation requirements.”

Similarly, a number of members of the Senate Finance Committee told U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a March 30 letter that the USMCA should not enter into force until “all necessary regulations are in place and our industries have had an opportunity to understand and implement them effectively.” Among other things, the senators noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a public health crisis and supply chain disruptions that have left businesses and governments “little, if any, time and resources to prepare for a smooth transition to USMCA.”

For more information on the USMCA, please contact trade consultant Nicole Bivens Collinson, click here and here for details on the changes made by the agreement, or click here to view one of ST&R’s in-depth seminars.

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