03:25 GMT29 September 2020
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    In a Friday memo to Congress, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that both Canada and Mexico have reached compliance with commitments laid out in the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is now set to begin on July 1.

    “The crisis and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that now, more than ever, the United States should strive to increase manufacturing capacity and investment in North America," Lighthizer said in the alert to members of Congress

    "The USMCA’s entry into force is a landmark achievement in that effort. Under President Trump’s leadership, USTR [Office of the US Trade Representative] will continue working to ensure a smooth implementation of the USMCA so that American workers and businesses can enjoy the benefits of the new agreement." 

    The USTR said that enhancements to agriculture, intellectual property, digital trade, financial services and other sectors have been laid out in the North American agreement.

    Such improvements "will deliver more jobs, provide stronger labor protections, and expand market access, creating new opportunities for American workers, farmers, and ranchers," according to the release. 

    Forbes has lauded the agreement's approach to energy as the "the best oil and natural gas alliance ever" due to the fact that USMCA calls for no tariffs on energy products throughout the continent. 

    Though a previous proposal from Lighthizer to Congress in early March said the agreement would take effect on June 1, it has been pushed back a month as of now. The date of implementation has been a source of contention over the past several weeks as businesses have had to adapt to modified operations during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. 

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    Tags:
    North America, Trade, Canada, Mexico, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Congress
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