Stumbling Blocks for USMCA Implementation

September 3, 2020

Barely a month into implementation, USMCA is already fraught with major stumbling blocks as Canada and Mexico warn recent U.S. trade actions will have serious implications on the deal’s success. Main issues include the re-imposition of tariffs on Canadian aluminum and the new plan to address the complaints of southeastern season growers of fresh produce against Mexican produce imports.

Earlier this month, President Trump announced plans to impose a 10-percent additional tariff on aluminum imports from Canada, citing national security concerns due to a surge of Canadian aluminum in the market. Canada met the decision with an announcement of its own retaliatory tariffs on U.S. aluminum products. As for the multiagency plan addressing the impact of seasonal produce imports from Mexico, USTR will investigate imports of blueberries and seek discussions with Mexico addressing other concerns about imports of Mexican strawberries, bell peppers, and other perishable products.

The aluminum tariffs and seasonality plan are only two examples of issues that are impeding smooth implementation of the North American trade pact. USMCA made sweeping changes to the rules of origin for autos and auto parts as well as sweeping labor standards reform and dispute settlement proceedings. USRPA will be monitoring developments in North American trade relations on behalf of the U.S. rice farmer.

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