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The Mexican government has notified Canada and the US it is ready to implement the revised North American trade deal, with all three countries now having ratified the agreement. 

Jesús Seade, Mexico’s chief negotiator, announced the news on Twitter, saying it had notified its partners of “the completion of its internal processes” for the entry into force of the US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA).

“With this, we will have a modern instrument that will strengthen the region’s competitiveness and boost the trilateral relationship,” he said.

Juan José Gómez Camacho, Mexico’s ambassador to Canada, followed with his own tweet: “Mexico has informed Canada and the United States that we are finished. This new internal process that will allow #ACEUM to enter into force will strengthen the North American region and boost our economies.”

The move follows that of the Canadian Parliament, which officially approved the deal on 13 March.

It now paves the way for the deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and leaves it up to the US to decide when the deal should take effect.

However, due to the outbreak of Covid-19, it is unclear when USMCA will begin. In late March, 19 US senators urged the Trump administration to push back the planned start date for the new trade pact, saying the short lead time would add to pressures on US companies already struggling hard with the pandemic.

The House of Representatives is understood to have backed the new trade settlement in a 385-41 vote, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

The USMCA makes a number of updates and modifications to NAFTA and will offer qualifying textiles and apparel, travel goods and footwear originating from the USMCA region duty-free access to the US and Canadian markets.

It also includes new provisions on textiles that incentivise greater North American production, strengthen customs enforcement, and facilitate broader consultation and cooperation among the three parties.