Trump Signs U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to Replace NAFTA

On January 29, 2020, President Trump signed into law the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada and Mexico, which created special economic and trade benefits, and established the TN nonimmigrant classification that permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to work temporarily in the United States in certain enumerated professional occupations. As stated in our previous Business Immigration Update, the USMCA will not change or alter the TN program as the new trade agreement preserves the NAFTA provisions relating to the TN visa classification. The USMCA establishes new rules affecting the dairy and agriculture industry in Canada and the U.S., country of origin tariff rules on automobile manufacturing, intellectual property and digital trade, and labor laws in Mexico. The terms of the USMCA contains a 16-year sunset clause and will be subject to review every six years by the three countries to decide whether to remain in the trade agreement.

The USMCA is not yet finalized as Canada is currently undergoing the ratification process. Once completed, the USMCA will go into effect 90 days after.

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