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US-Mexico-Canada Agreement is amended and is getting closer to ratification

On 10 December 2019, the governments of the United States, Mexico and Canada signed a Protocol which amends the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA, also known as CUSMA in Canada or T-MEC in Mexico, respectively).

According to a summary released by the Government of Canada, the amendment contains changes to the settlement process for disputes between states, to labor and environmental obligations, intellectual property rights and rules of origin.

Participants at the signature ceremony in Mexico City included United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Chrystia Freeland, Mexican Undersecretary for North America Jesus Seade Kuri and others; Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador, who witnessed the signature, thanked the negotiation partners for their constructive work (see report and transcript (in Spanish) on López Obrador’s official website).

According to a press release by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, USMCA has now come closer to ratification.

Preceding the signature of the amendment protocol, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Richard E. Neal and other Congressmen and Congresswomen had announced in a press conference that negotiations between the Democrats and the incumbent administration on changes to USMCA had been successful and Democrat’s concerns about the previous version had been addressed (see also a fact sheet issued by Neal).

For further information on USMCA, please refer to the websites of USTR and the Goverment of Canada.

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