Today is a groundbreaking day for North America as the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA/CUSMA/TMEC) enters into force, replacing NAFTA.

This new agreement is one of the most modern free trade agreements in the world as it addresses the challenges that the XXI Century brings to the regional trade.

The most important changes of the USMCA are:

  • New Chapters: 12 new chapters were added, the new chapters include among other Labor, Environmental issues, Digital Trade, Anticorruption, and Good Regulatory Practices, as well as a chapter devoted to ensuring that Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.


  • Market Access: The rules of origin were updated to create a more robust regional integration, the most impacted sectors are Automotive, Apparel, Chemical and the Pharmaceutical and Medical devices industry.


  • Certificates of Origin: A more business-oriented certification model is incorporated in the agreement moving to an Exporter, Importer and Producer based certificate issuance opposed to only exporter certificates under NAFTA (For Mexico the importer certificate issued will entry into force in 2024)


  • Origin Verification: The origin verification procedure is modernized. as it adds a requirement that the verifying Party must notify the importer when this type of procedures are triggered.


  • Dispute Settlements: New provisions regarding the dispute settlement were incorporated into the agreement


  • Sunset clause (Review): On the sixth anniversary of its entry into force, a “joint review” of the agreement must be conducted by the parties

The USMCA’s entry into force requires a deep analysis of its provisions and the impacts on the foreign trade day to day operations to verify the compliance of all applicable changes.

The automotive sector needs to carry a deep review of their current state and the challenges to fulfill the new Regional value content requirements (RVC) and the impacts of the Labor Content Value (LCV); Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers must analyze the possible impacts on their current operations and explore the possibilities to Reshore or Nearshore in the coming future.

The lawyers of the customs and foreign trade practice group or any of our other areas in the Firm related with the legal specialties included in the new agreement will be pleased to respond any doubts or questions in relation to this Newsletter. or any other matter.


Lic. Sergio Barajas Pérez


Lic. Roberto Serralde Rodríguez


Lic. Felix Ponce Nava Cortés.


Lic. Rolando Ramírez de la Huerta


Lic. Priscila del Ángel Cardoza


Lic. Ana Lucía Moreno Elizondo


Mexico City, July 1st, 2020.