The Trump administration`s office proposed the USMCA citing new measures for digital commerce, strengthening the protection of trade secrets and adapting the rules of origin of automobiles among the benefits of the trade agreement. [112] NAFTA has three primary dispute resolution mechanisms. Chapter 20 is the settlement mechanism for countries. It is often considered the least controversial of the three mechanisms, and has been maintained in its original form from NAFTA to the USMCA. In such cases, complaints filed by USMCA Member States against the duration of the contract would be violated. [48] In Chapter 19, the justifications for anti-dumping or countervailing duties are managed. Without Chapter 19, the avenue of recourse for the management of these policies would be through the national legal system. Chapter 19 provides that an USMCA body hears the case and acts as an international commercial tribunal to arbitrate the dispute. [48] The Trump administration has attempted to remove Chapter 19 of the new USMCA text, which until now existed in the agreement.

Growing objections within Member States to U.S. trade policy and various aspects of the USMCA have had an impact on the signing and ratification process. Mexico said it would not sign the USMCA if tariffs on steel and aluminum were maintained. [62] Based on the results of the November 6, 2018 U.S. election, it has been speculated that the greater power of Democrats in the House of Representatives could jeopardize the passage of the USMCA agreement. [63] [64] Bill Pascrell, a senior Democrat, argued for changes to the USMCA to pass Congress. [65] Republicans have opposed the USMCA provisions that impose labour rights on LGBTQ and pregnant workers. [66] Forty Republicans in Congress have asked Mr. Trump not to sign an agreement that includes “the unprecedented integration of sexual orientation and the language of gender identity.” As a result, Trump ultimately signed a revised version that required each nation only to “policies it deems appropriate to protect workers from discrimination in the workplace” and said the United States would not be required to introduce additional non-discrimination laws. [67] The Canadian government expressed concern about the changes that have occurred under the USMCA agreement. [68] The USMCA establishes the highest level of a U.S. trade agreement for strong and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

This is a significant enhancement of NAFTA. Nevertheless, in December 2019, following negotiations on the revision of the USMCA text signed in November 2018, substantial changes were made to Chapter 20 of intellectual property. On November 30, 2018, the USMCA was signed as planned by the three parties at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. [58] [59] Disputes over labour rights, steel and aluminum prevented ratification of this version of the agreement. [60] [61] Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer, and Mexican Under-Secretary of State for North America Jesus Seade officially signed a revised agreement on December 10, 2019, ratified by the three countries on March 13, 2020. The USMCA is expected to have a very small impact on the economy. [108] An International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussion paper published at the end of March 2019 stated that the agreement would have a “negligible” impact on the general economy.

[108] [113] The IMF study predicted that the USMCA “would have a negative impact on trade in the automotive, textile and clothing sectors, while achieving modest welfare gains, mainly due to improved access to the goods market, with a negligible impact on real GDP.” [113] The IMF study concluded that the economic benefits of the USMCA would be significantly enhanced if Trump`s trade war ended (i.e., the United States lowered tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico and Canada and Mexico lower retaliatory duties on imports from the United States) [113]