Mexico celebrates start of new trade accord with US, Canada

Elias Hubbard
July 3, 2020

"The USMCA is a great deal for all three countries involved", said Ward, who has been working in the oil and gas industry in the USA and Mexico for more than 50 years and recently signed a binding $4 billion financing agreement from Bluebell International, LLC, to develop North America's largest cross-border natural gas infrastructure project. The agreement also gives USA dairy products access to an additional 3.6 percent of Canada's dairy market.

Canada ratified the trade agreement on April 3.

USMCA retains NAFTA's list of products eligible for zero tariffs, but obligates Canada to provide expanded access for USA dairy exports.

According to the International Trade Commission if USMCA is implemented as negotiated US dairy exports are projected to increase by more than $314 million a year. The arrest of Mexican labour lawyer Susana Prieto earlier in June has fuelled USA unions' arguments that Mexican workers' rights are not being protected. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was pressure from the USA government to allow some Mexican assembly plants to quickly reopen or remain open to cause less interruption.

That could lead to increased tariffs on offending goods, such as products from individual factories where labour violations are found. We congratulate Ambassador Lighthizer and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts for this significant undertaking.

The new trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada went into effect Wednesday.

Another source of disputes may be the energy sector, where the main USA oil and gas lobby has complained that recent actions by Mexico favoring state oil company Pemex already violate USMCA's protections for private investors. There is also a 75 per cent regional content requirement protecting jobs at parts suppliers in areas where vehicles are manufactured.

Lighthizer's belief that the agreement would fortify manufacturing in the United States, aid workers and raise wages was echoed by many representatives of the country's trade groups that seek to protect the apparel industry. American Apparel & Footwear Association President and CEO Steve Lamar heralded the agreement in a statement on June 30, noting that all requests made by his organization-"remaining trilateral, that it not harm the industry's supply chains and that it be seamlessly implemented"-were honored".

According to Semsar, USMCA is expected to add $68.2 billion to the US GDP and create 176,000 new jobs in the country.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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