North American Nations Agree on New Trade Deal

By Elizabeth M. Klarin

October 1, 2018 | Immigration Blog

The United States, Canada and Mexico have preliminarily agreed on a new trade deal, being called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or “USMCA.” This agreement will supersede the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Importantly, it appears that the USMCA will preserve the immigration benefits accorded to Canadian, Mexican and U.S. citizens under NAFTA, including for business visitors, treaty traders and investors, intra-company transferees, and professionals as set forth in NAFTA Appendix 1603.D.1. Other key provisions that have been highlighted relate to trade and administrative aspects of the deal (access to the dairy market across borders, auto tariff accommodations, dispute settlement mechanisms, sunset clause, etc.).

The agreement, announced on Sunday September 30, 2018, follows more than a year of intense negotiations designed to meet the latest deadline of Monday, October 1, 2018 set by the United States. American law requires the text of any new trade agreement to be released 60 days before it is signed, and with Mexico’s current president leaving office November 30th, this deadline had to be met in order for the current Mexican government to sign off on the agreement before the change is made to the new government.

For a full copy of the published text of the USMCA agreement, please click here.

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