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Free Trade Agreements

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On January 21, 2020, the Diario Oficial (Federal Official Gazette) published the Presidential Decree approving the Protocol Modifying the Treaty between the United Mexican States, the United States of America and Canada, made in Mexico City on December 10, 2019, as well as two parallel agreements between the Government of the United States Mexicans and the Government of the United States of America, held in Mexico City, on December 10, 2019. The Agreement must still…

On January 16, 2020, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement [USMCA] Implementation Act (HR 5430) was approved in the US Senate by a vote of 89-10, sending it to the President. The House of Representatives had approved the bill on December 19, 2019 by a 385-41 vote. The USMCA is an revised and updated agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The administration had worked with Democratic members of Congress to resolve labor and environment…

On 1 January 2020, an approximate total of 23 legislative instruments (primarily consisting of amending legislations) affecting various aspects of trade and customs entered into force. An overview of the key changes is set out below: Amendments to primary legislations – Amendments spanning across approximately 172 pages in aggregate were effected to four primary legislations. This includes the Customs Act 1967 (Customs Act), the Free Zones Act 1990 (Free Zones Act), the Excise Act 1976 (Excise Act) and the Sales Tax Act…

On December 10, 2019, at an event in Mexico’s National Palace, the modifying protocol  agreement to finalize the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) (that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA).was signed in the presence of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, by Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Mexico’s Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for North America Jesus Seade, and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The signing was made possible by an agreement…

On December 10, 2019, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Ways and Means Chairman, Richard Neal announced in a press conference, that they had reached a deal with the White House on the US-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement. Neal outlined some of the changes in the deal reached with the White House on the USMCA Trade Agreement on labor and environmental enforcement rules, drug pricing, and other issues. The changes must be agreed to by Mexico…

On December 6, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice of its determination of the trade surplus in certain sugar and syrup goods and sugar-containing products of Chile, Morocco, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Colombia and Panama. The level of a country’s trade surplus in these goods relates to the quantity of sugar and syrup goods and sugar-containing products for…

On December 4, 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the National Diet (Parliament) approved the Japan-US Trade Agreement as well as the Japan-US Digital Trade Agreement. The US Trade Representative commended Japan’s action and said the United States is preparing for the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement to go into effect on January 1, 2020. As agreed by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe, both Governments will begin consultations early…

On 8 November 2019, the European Commission announced that EU Member States endorsed the trade agreement between the EU and Singapore allowing the EU’s first agreement with a Southeast Asian country to enter into force as soon as 21 November. According to the announcement: Singapore is by far the EU’s largest trading partner in the Southeast Asian region, with total bilateral trade in goods of over €53 billion and another €51 billion of trade in…

On October 24, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register an invitation for applications [Docket No. USTR-2019-0018] from eligible individuals wishing to be included on the roster of individuals to serve on binational panels convened to review final determinations in antidumping or countervailing duty (AD/CVD) proceedings and amendments to AD/CVD statutes of a NAFTA Party for the period April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021. The United States…

On 24 August 2019, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) announced that delegations from Member States of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) convened in Buenos Aires on 20 to 23 August to continue their talks on a broad-based free trade agreement. This tenth round allowed the Parties to conclude the negotiations in substance in all areas. Note by the EFTA Secretariat states:…