House Passes USMCA
The House of Representatives has passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a vote of 385-41. USMCA will effectively replace North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to “support mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America.”
What’s in the USMCA?
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will enact new laws concerning intellectual property, establish new protocol for small businesses trading across borders, and improve market access for agricultural products.
- “Require full national treatment for copyright and related rights so United States creators are not deprived of the same protections that domestic creators receive in a foreign market.”
- “Limit governments’ ability to require disclosure of proprietary computer source code and algorithms, to better protect the competitiveness of digital suppliers.”
- “Require strong standards against the circumvention of technological protection measures that often protect works such as digital music, movies, and books.”
- “Ensure that data can be transferred cross-border, and that limits on where data can be stored and processed are minimized”.
- New mandate “requiring that 40-45 percent of auto content be made by workers earning at least USD $16 per hour.”
- “Prohibits customs duties on digital products distributed electronically (e-books, videos, music, software, games, etc.).”
- “Creates a new informal shipment level… [where] up to C$40 exempt from duties and taxes (increased from C$20) and up to C$150 exempt from duties.” Also, sets the “level for Mexico up to US$50 exempt from duties and taxes, and raises it up to US$117 duty-free for express shipment.”
- “The USMCA eliminates local presence requirements for cross-border service providers, benefiting small businesses by removing the unnecessary burden of opening a foreign office as a condition for doing business.”
- “Canada will provide new access for United States products including fluid milk, cream, butter, skim milk powder, cheese, and other dairy products. It will also eliminate its tariffs on whey and margarine.”
- “Canada will provide new access for United States chicken and eggs and increase its access for turkey. Under a modernized agreement, all other tariffs on agricultural products traded between the United States and Mexico will remain at zero.”
- “New protections for marine species like whales and sea turtles, including a prohibition on shark-finning and commitment to work together to protect marine habitat.”
- “Canada to eliminate its program that allows low priced dairy ingredients to undersell United States dairy sales in Canada and in third country markets.”
- “Mexico agreed to not restrict market access in Mexico for U.S. cheeses labeled with certain names.”