The new North American free trade agreement will take effect on July 1, replacing the 26-year-old NAFTA.
The United States notified Mexico and Canada on Friday that it had completed the domestic procedures required to implement the new pact, the final step needed for the USMCA to enter into force.
Mexico advised its trade partners on April 3 that it had completed its own domestic requirements to implement the agreement while Canada did the same a day earlier on April 2.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement that the entry into force of the USMCA will mark “the beginning of a historic new chapter for North American trade by supporting more balanced, reciprocal trade, leading to freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth” across the region.
The agreement, the result of a lengthy and at times heated negotiation process that started during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto, contains “significant improvements and modernized approaches to rules of origin, agricultural market access, intellectual property, digital trade, financial services, labor, and numerous other sectors,” the USTR said.
“These enhancements will deliver more jobs, provide stronger labor protections, and expand market access, creating new opportunities for American workers, farmers, and ranchers.”
Jesús Seade, deputy foreign affairs minister for North America and the government’s chief USMCA negotiator, expressed his satisfaction with the U.S. notification on Twitter.
“We are delighted with this fundamental step for the North American region! The USMCA is crucial for the three countries,” he wrote.
“We could discuss a thousand things about the entry into force of the USMCA … but let’s not complicate things: the USMCA is a great instrument for the medium and long term, and a vital base for the … relaunch of the economy after the Covid-19 crisis.”
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that “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.”
The entry into force of the USMCA, he added, “is a landmark achievement in that effort.”
Source: El Financiero (sp)