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The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed by the Governments of the United States, Mexico, and Canada on November 30, 2018. It is a modernized and upgraded version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was the first free trade agreement among the three countries. The USMCA aims to improve the economic competitiveness of North America, while creating more balanced, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial economic relationships between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The USMCA also seeks to strengthen the rules and obligations among the three countries and promote economic growth, job creation, and increased market access.

The USMCA is a comprehensive agreement consisting of sixteen chapters, covering a range of topics, including trade and investment, labor, environment, intellectual property rights, dispute settlement, and government procurement. The agreement also has specific commitments for certain sectors, such as automotive, energy, and digital trade. It also includes new provisions to address issues such as the digital economy, currency manipulation, and labor rights.

In addition to the core trade and investment provisions, the USMCA also includes provisions to promote regulatory cooperation and transparency, as well as provisions to strengthen labor rights and the environment. The USMCA is intended to be a living agreement, and includes a process for the three countries to review and update the agreement to reflect changes in the global economy, technology, and other areas.

The USMCA was approved by the U.S. Congress with the enactment on January 29, 2020, of the USMCA Implementation Act, Pub. L. 116-113, 134 Stat. 11, 14 (19 U.S.C. § 4511(a)). General Note (“GN”) 11 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) implements the USMCA. The USMCA is expected to create more jobs and economic opportunities for the citizens of all three countries, while promoting the competitiveness of North America in the global economy.

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