Legal Issues relating to the USMCA (and NAFTA)

Summary of the USMCA (“NAFTA re-negotiation”)

The Trump Administration issued its letters of intent to re-negotiate NAFTA on May 18, 2017. Then, after a year and 4 months, the USTR announced that Canada would join with the United States and Mexico in a US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). On October 1, 2018, the draft text for the USMCA was released. The withdrawal from NAFTA, and ratification of the USMCA would require Congressional approval. See, CRS Report from February, 2019.


Our attorneys understand trade.

Contact a firm attorney at (415) 498-0070.



June 8, 2019: State Department: US-Mexico Joint Declaration (averting Trump tariffs).

May 31, 2019: POTUS clarifies that MX duties will escalate each month and reach 25% (if not averted).

May 30, 2019: POTUS threatens 5% duties on Mexico on the 10th of June.

May 30, 2018: POTUS has sought fast-track approval for the USMCA however, the House is free to ignore the request due to objections over short-comings in environment, labor standards, enforcement, and biologics. See, House W&M statement.

April 29, 2019: USMCA crystallizing as an issue for the 2020 election. Senator Grassly’s WSJ editorial states that USMCA is dead in the Senate unless sec. 232 tariff are removed; meanwhile, House Speaker Pelosi will keep it from a vote until Mexico implements exiting labor reforms, and new provisions are added.

April 18, 2019: USMCA: ITC Report on economic impact of the USMCA. USTR Report on Auto impact.

April 4, 2019: POTUS: Mexico border issues: “Mexico understands that we’re going to close the border or I’m going to tariff the cars. I’ll do one or the other. And probably start off with the tariffs. That will be a very powerful incentive. . . If the drugs don’t stop—Mexico can stop them if they want—we’re going to tariff the cars. The cars are very big. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to close the border. But I think that’ll work. So it’s massive numbers of dollars… You know I will do it. I don’t play games. I’ll do it. We’re going to give them a one-year warning. And if the drugs don’t stop, or largely stop, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular cars. The whole ballgame is cars. It’s the big ballgame. With many countries, it’s cars. And if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border.”

April 3, 2019: CBP: Border wait time

March 27, 2019: CBP Commissioner on Border Crisis

February 26, 2019: CRS Report on NAFTA/USMCA issues, including withdrawal.

January 29, 2019: USTR: Legal changes needed to implement USMCA.

January 29, 2019: New Democrat Coalition: noncommittal on USMCA.

December 1, 2018: Trump to terminate NAFTA to force the 2019 passage of USMCA.

November 30, 2018: Canada and Mexico sign the USMCA during the G20.November 26, 2018: GOB: Mexico and Canada ready to sign USMCA at the G20 summit.

November 21. 2018: Am. Shipper article: Tariffs complicate USMCA prospects

October 1, 2018: USTR: Canada Joins the US-Mexico Agreement. Text of the USMCA released.

August 4, 2018: NAFTA: Canadian Minister is "keen" to get back to the table - after having being excluded from U.S.-Mexico talks.  

May 23, 2018: Article: Trump calls Canada "spoiled" and cited to auto deal.

April 6, 2018: Article: 8th round in Washington.

February 25, 2018:  Article: 7th Round in Mexico.

January 20, 2018: NAFTA: Article: 6th Round of negotiations begins next week.

January 16, 2018: Hill Times Article: Re-negotiations: Canada may capitulate to certain 'unthinkable' US demands.

January 10, 2018: WTO: Canada files dispute to the WTO over Softwood Lumber.. Financial Times Article.  USTR Lighthizer's response.

January 5, 2017: Unified Cargo Processing to expand to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Arizona.

December, 2017:  CBP: Video explanation of Unified Processing Program (CBP/SAT joint inspections)

October, 2017: Forbes: Article: Trump Pushes NAFTA Talks Onto Treacherous New Timeline

NYT: Article: Nafta Talks’ Extension May Make for Slow, Painful Demise.

May 18, 2017:  Trump Administration issues NAFTA renegotiation notice letters.