The USMCA trade agreement goes into effect today

President López Obrador will celebrate the new deal by visiting Trump next week

The USMCA trade agreement goes into effect today
After months of tense negotiations, the USMCA was finally signed by the three countries - Photo: Francisco Cañedo/Xinhua
English 01/07/2020 14:12 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Carina García, Horacio Jiménez, AP Actualizada 14:23

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Today, Mexico celebrated the implementation of the USMCA, a new free trade agreement with Canada and the United States, in hopes that it will lead to more investment in its struggling economy.

On June 30, the lower chamber approved a series of laws needed to implement the USMCA today. 

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the free trade agreement, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, will provide greater certainty to the three countries in their commercial relationships.

Their supply chains are deeply intertwined. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was pressure from the U.S. government to allow some Mexican assembly plants to quickly reopen or remain open to cause less interruption.

“There are clear rules,” López Obrador said. “You can’t have border closures or tariff increases on products without a legal-type procedure with the famous panels where representatives of the three countries participate.”

Recommended: Mexico, the U.S., and Canada sign USMCA trade agreement

Known as the USMCA in English, the new agreement began to be negotiated when López Obrador won the 2018 presidential election.

It incorporates stronger regulations, especially regarding labor conditions, that required changes to Mexican law.

López Obrador will travel to Washington on July 8-9 to meet with Trump and recognize the achievement of the new agreement. This will be López Obrador’s first international trip as President. 

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard did not provide details of next week’s visit but said July 8 would be a bilateral encounter with Trump and a July 9 meeting would include Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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