United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement

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United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement
  • Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá  (Spanish)
  • Accord États-Unis-Mexique-Canada  (French)
Location of United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement
Type Free trade area
Member states
Establishment As NAFTA: January 1, 1994; 24 years ago (1994-01-01)[1]
As USMCA: September 30, 2018[2] (ratification pending)
• Total
21,578,137 km2 (8,331,365 sq mi)
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
• Density
22.3/km2 (57.8/sq mi)
GDP (PPP) 2018 estimate
• Total
$25 trillion[3]
• Per capita

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA; Spanish: Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá, T-MEC[4][5]; French: Accord États-Unis-Mexique-Canada, AÉUMC) is a pending free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. It is also referred to as "NAFTA 2.0",[6][7][8] in order to distinguish it from its intended current predecessor North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It is the result of the 2017–2018 renegotiation of NAFTA by its member states, which informally agreed to the terms on September 30, 2018, and formally on October 1.[9] Final ratification and implementation is pending.

Compared to NAFTA, the agreement gives the U.S. more access to Canada's $19 billion dairy market, incentivizes more domestic production of cars and trucks, increases environmental and labor regulations, and introduces updated intellectual property protections.


The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement is based on the North American Free Trade Agreement which originally came into effect on on January 1, 1994. The present agreement was the result of more than a year of negotiations including threats of tariffs by the United States against Canada in addition to the possibility of separate bilateral deals instead.[10]

During the 2016 US presidential election, Donald Trump's campaign included the promise to re-negotiate, or cancel if re-negotiations fail, the North American Free Trade Agreement.[11] Upon election, President Trump proceeded to make a number of changes affecting trade relations with other countries. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, ceasing to be part of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and significantly increasing tariffs with China were some of the steps he implemented, reinforcing that he was serious about seeking changes to NAFTA.[12]


An initial agreement between the United States and Mexico was reached before finalization with Canada. Since Mexico’s outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, will leave office on December 1, 2018, and 60 days are required as a review period, the deadline for providing the agreed text was the end of September 30, 2018. Negotiators worked around the clock and completed the agreement less than 1 hour before midnight of that date. The agreement will take effect after being passed into law and signed by each country.[13]


Provisions of the agreement cover a wide range, including agricultural produce, manufactured products, labor conditions, digital trade, among others. Some of the more prominent aspects of the agreement include giving US dairy farmers greater access to the Canadian market, guidelines to have a higher proportion of automobiles manufactured amongst the three nations rather than imported from elsewhere, and a retaining of the dispute resolution system similar to what was included in NAFTA.[13]

The dairy provisions are similar, but slightly higher, to those Canada agreed to in the never-ratified Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), giving the U.S. tariff-free access to 3.6%, up from 3.25% under TPP, of the $15.2 billion (as of 2016) Canadian dairy market.[14][15] Canada agreed to eliminate Class 7 pricing provisions on certain dairy products, while Canada's domestic supply management system remains in place.[16] Canada agreed to raise the duty-free limit on purchases from the U.S. to $150 from the previous $20 level, allowing Canadian consumers to have greater duty-free access to the U.S market.[17]

Cars or trucks with at least 75% of their components made in the United States, Mexico, or Canada can be sold with zero tariffs. As this is an increase from the current requirement of 62.5%, the deal is intended to incentivize the production of cars in North America. Also, 30% of the work done on these cars must be done by workers who earn US$16 per hour (which is not indexed to inflation) starting in 2020. The percentage increases to 40% by 2023.[18]

Additionally, there is a stipulation that the agreement itself must be reviewed by the three nations every 6 years, with a 16-year sunset clause. The agreement can be extended for additional 16-year terms during the 6-year reviews.[18]

The USMCA will extend the copyright length in Canada to life plus 70 years, and 75 years for sound recordings.[19]

The USMCA will impact how member countries negotiate future free trade deals. Article 32.10 requires USMCA countries to notify USMCA members three months in advance if they intend to begin free trade negotiations with non-market economies. Article 32.10 permits USMCA countries the ability to review any new free trade deals members agree to going forward. Article 32.10 is widely speculated to be targeting China in intent.[20]

A new addition in the USMCA is the inclusion of Chapter 33 which covers Macroeconomic Policies and Exchange Rate Matters. This is considered significant because it could set a precedent for future trade agreements.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FAQ 4: When Did the NAFTA enter into force?". NAFTA Secretariat. 2014. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  2. ^ Schlesinger, Jacob M.; Mackrael, Kim; Salama, Vivian (2018-10-01). "U.S. and Canada Reach Nafta (sic) Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  3. ^ a b "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". International Monetary Fund. 2017-04-01. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  4. ^ "T-MEC es el nombre con el que se conocerá al nuevo acuerdo comercial". El Universal (in Spanish). 17 October 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  5. ^ "AMLO gana y se queda T-MEC como nombre para acuerdo comercial trilateral". El Financiero (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  6. ^ McGregor, Janyce (October 4, 2018). "Auto industry relieved by NAFTA 2.0, but results may be mixed". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved October 7, 2018. There would be no "Carmageddon" caused by auto tariffs torpedoing cross-border trade, now that NAFTA 2.0 had found a safe landing zone.
  7. ^ Brune, Michael (October 2, 2018). "NAFTA 2.0 remains hazardous to our health". USA Today. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  8. ^ "What's in a Name Change? For Those Saying U.S.M.C.A., a Mouthful". Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  9. ^ Dangerfield, Katie (2018-08-30). "NAFTA deal reached: Canada, U.S., Mexico reach trade agreement under new name". Global News. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  10. ^ Wattles, Jackie; Lobosco, Katie (2018-09-01). "Trump again threatens to leave Canada out of new NAFTA deal". CNN. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  11. ^ Stephenson, Emily; Becker, Amanda (2016-06-28). "Trump vows to reopen, or toss, NAFTA pact with Canada and Mexico". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  12. ^ Pace, Julie; Colvin, Jill (2017-06-01). "President Trump pulls U.S. out of Paris climate accord, sparking global criticism". PBS News Hour. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  13. ^ a b Diamond, Jeremy; Liptak, Kevin; Newton, Paula; Borak, Donna (2018-10-01). "US and Canada reach deal on NAFTA after talks go down to the wire". CNN. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  14. ^ Dale, Daniel; MacCharles, Tonda (2018-09-30). "Canada, U.S. reach new NAFTA deal". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  15. ^ "Canada's Dairy Industry at a Glance". Canadian Dairy Information Centre. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. 2018-03-26. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  16. ^ Blanchfield, Mike (2018-10-01). "Trump approves of new continental trade deal as winners and losers are assessed". The Canadian Press. Times Colonist. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  17. ^ Evans, Pete (2018-10-01). "New free trade deal with U.S. will see Canada's duty-free limit raised to $150 from $20". CBC News. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  18. ^ a b "Analysis | U.S., Canada and Mexico just reached a sweeping new NAFTA deal. Here's what's in it". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-05.
  19. ^ "How the Canadian Music Biz Is Reacting to New Trade Deal With U.S., Mexico". Billboard. October 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "Nafta's China Clause Is Latest Blow to Trudeau's Asia Ambitions". www.bloomberg.com.
  21. ^ "USMCA Currency Provisions Set a New Precedent". www.csis.org.

External links[edit]