Congress Overwhelmingly Approves USMCA

Congress Overwhelmingly Approves USMCA

This piece was originally published in the March/April 2020 issue of electroindustry.

by Craig Updyke, Director, Trade and Commercial, Affairs, NEMA

Following positive bipartisan votes in the House of Representatives and Senate, in January the President signed into law legislation to implement the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The House approved USMCA 385-41 on December 19; the Senate voted 89-10 on January 16.

“USMCA provides greater certainty for NEMA Members working with partners in Mexico and Canada and contains many positive provisions for the U.S. electroindustry in the areas of market access, Standards and conformity assessment, and regulatory cooperation,” said NEMA President and CEO Kevin J. Cosgriff. “We look forward to working with the Administration, Congress, and our North American counterpart associations on the successful implementation of this important agreement,” Cosgriff added.

The date of entry into force of USMCA and repeal of NAFTA are still to be determined. The earliest option is July 1, 2020. As of press time, Canada had not yet completed its ratification procedures, but strong support was expected in Ottawa. Mexico’s Congress completed its approval procedures in December 2019, but Mexico must still put in place new legislation to meet all its USMCA commitments, including a new law on Standards and conformity assessment. ei

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