Lighthizer celebrates USMCA, promises enforcement as trade deal comes into force

Cheryl Sanders
July 3, 2020

The US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) enters into force on Wednesday, amending the rules of the multitrillion regional market to the liking of President Donald Trump and becoming a possible benchmark for future commercial pacts.

Sjostrom says another positive part of USMCA is it provides a little better access for USA dairy into Canada.

The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) also hailed the implementation of the agreement.

Canada ratified the trade agreement on April 3.

A ruling against it would harm Mexico's ability to deliver on provisions aimed at ending labor contracts agreed without worker consent that are stacked in favor of companies and have kept wages chronically low in Mexico.Democrats in the U.S. Congress had insisted on the stronger labor provisions previous year before granting approval, prompting a substantial renegotiation of terms first agreed in October 2018.

According to the National Corn Growers Association, Mexico and Canada are the USA corn industry's largest, most reliable markets. Susana Prieto Terrazas, known for leading a crusade for higher wages and union protection for workers in border assembly plants, was arrested June 10 on charges of inciting riots, threats and coercion. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was pressure from the US government to allow some Mexican assembly plants to quickly reopen or remain open to cause less interruption.

Carlos Vejar, a former Mexican trade negotiator, said it was in the country's interest to uphold pledges made to strengthen unions and end child labor. We thank USTR Ambassador Bob Lighthizer and his team for working with us on this issue and we will continue to work closely with the agencies tasked with implementation of the trucks fix to ensure it is implemented vigorously and transparently.

"But thanks to the hard work of House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and allies such as the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association and Advocates for Highway Safety, the USMCA adds a trade remedy to safeguard against material harm to US truckers". There is also a 75 per cent regional content requirement protecting jobs at parts suppliers in areas where vehicles are manufactured. The same panel found that after 15 years, the deal would add $68.5 billion annually to US economic output and create 176,000 jobs compared with a NAFTA baseline.

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