The U.S., Mexico and Canada are now working through the steps to implement USMCA, which is expected to increase U.S. agricultural exports by $2 billion to it’s two largest trading partners. Veronica Nigh, American Farm Bureau Federation Economist, says Canada approved the agreement recently, paving the way for implementation.
"So now, all three countries are hurriedly working towards establishing some of the different mechanisms that they promised to do, the results of USMCA, so that everything’s in place for the deal to hopefully go into effect as soon as June 1," Nigh said.
All three countries are making legal changes, and establishing dispute mechanism panels, to allow the deal to go into effect.
"In order for the deal to go into effect each country has to make some changes to their laws and there’s some inter-country panels that have to be established," Nigh said. "There’s also some different things that Canada has to do to eliminate the Class 7 milk pricing system that it’s got in place. Mexico has to make some changes to their labor laws, so, all of those things are happening now.
However, Nigh cautions that the current coronavirus outbreak could delay implementation if it continues to escalate.
"Right now, the hope is no, that there won’t be any delays. But, certainly, as this outbreak continues to evolve, what’s around the corner is still a big question mark," Nigh said. "So, right now, all three countries are moving forward to get this thing into effect by the first of June. But, I reserve the right to be wrong here in a couple of weeks if things change dramatically on the virus’s development."