November 23, 2020

Volume X, Number 328


November 20, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

Delay the USMCA? Business Leaders Call for Postponing Implementation of the ‘New NAFTA’

he United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on November 30, 2018. The USMCA was designed to update and replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Canada was the last of the three signatories to ratify the deal.

On March 13, 2020, the Parliament of Canada quickly ratified the USMCA before taking a three-week break to address the COVID-19 crisis. With Canada’s ratification, it appeared that the new trade deal would be implemented, marking a significant shift in cross-border trade. The United States proposed an implementation date of June 1, 2020, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sent Congress notice of the proposed date in early March 2020.

Amid the unfolding COVID-19 public health crisis, business groups have requested a delay in the implementation of the USMCA, raising concerns about having to adapt to the new rules during a global pandemic. In particular, there has been a strong push from the automotive industry and its representative groups to delay implementation because of the difficulties faced by companies adjusting to new rules and regulations in the current environment.

However, there is still pressure in the United States to implement the USMCA before the November 2020 elections. The Trump administration appears motivated to bring the deal into force on June 1, 2020.

Ultimately, there are challenges to implementing the USMCA in the current global environment, with supply chains and international trade being significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to monitor the positions taken by government leaders in the USMCA’s member countries and their responses to calls for delay.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 97



About this Author

Pietro Straulino-Rodriguez , Labor, Employment, Attorney, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm
Managing Partner

Pietro Straulino-Rodríguez is the managing partner of the Mexico City office of Ogletree Deakins. Before starting at Ogletree Deakins, Pietro worked for a number of years as a partner in private practice at a leading law firm in Mexico City in the firm’s Labor, Social Security and Immigration practice group. Previously he worked for a major labor boutique in Mexico City, in which he participated as an advisor and litigator in several matters. In addition, Pietro worked in the legal and government relations department of Ford Motor Company in Mexico. He has successfully combined his...

Hugh Christie, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney
Managing Partner

Hugh Christie provides commercial and public sector clients with advice on all elements of employment law, from pre-hiring through recruitment, drafting agreements, benefit plans and policies, discipline, promotion, succession planning, termination and post-employment obligations. Hugh deals with employment issues arising out of restructuring of the workplace as a result of corporate transactions and trans-border employment issues.

Hugh is co-chair of the Advisory Board of a Centre for the study of Labour and Employment Law at the Faculty of Law, Queen’s University, the only such...

Stephen Shore, Ogletree Deakins, Toronto, applications for certification lawyer, collective bargaining attorney

Stephen Shore is a skilled advocate whose practice is focused on the representation of management in many areas of employment and labour law with particular emphasis on applications for certification, collective bargaining, grievance arbitration, Ontario Labour Relations Board proceedings, human rights, wrongful and constructive dismissal litigation and employment and labour issues in corporate restructuring and transactions.

Jordan Romano Articling Student Toronto
Articling Student

Jordan is an Articling Student in the Toronto office of Ogletree Deakins.

Jordan holds a Juris Doctor from Western University, where he received the Dean of Law Scholarship and served as the President of the Labour and Employment Law Society. Jordan was also a key contributor to a nationwide HR newsletter providing updates on the law of workplace accommodation.

Prior to law school, Jordan received a Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resources from the University of Toronto, where he was awarded the O’Grady Scholarship for his dedication to the study of industrial...