The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may have been replaced effective July 1, 2020 by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), but the rules of NAFTA remain alive and well in the halls of the enforcement agencies on both sides of the border.Continue Reading Gone but Not Forgotten: The Continuing Importance of NAFTA Compliance
Curt Dombek is a partner in the Governmental Practice. Curt divides his time between the firm's Brussels and Los Angeles offices.
The North American and global automotive sector is watching closely to see how the United States ultimately responds to the decision of December 14, 2022, made public on January 10, 2023, which upheld Canada’s and Mexico’s position on an important issue for calculation of a vehicle’s regional value content (RVC) under the USMCA. In dispute was whether a Core Part or Super Core Part that qualifies as originating under Articles 3.7 to 3.9 of the USMCA Auto Appendix can then have 100% of its value count as originating content when calculating the RVC of the fully assembled vehicle. The United States had argued that there was a separate “origination requirement” for Core Parts and Super Core Parts which, once satisfied, had no input into the vehicle RVC calculation. Instead, the United States argued, the vehicle RVC calculation would need to proceed from scratch, without the “roll-up” represented by the 100% value of originating Core Parts and Super Core Parts entering the vehicle RVC calculation. One consequence of the U.S. approach would have been on producers’ use of Chapter 4, Article 4.8, which limits them to just one layer of intermediate material roll-up on self-produced intermediate materials.Continue Reading A Closer Look at the Recent USMCA Automobile Disputes Panel Decision
In recent weeks we saw Canada, Mexico and the United States present their respective positions and legal arguments, often in sharply worded exchanges, about how the Auto Core Parts rules of origin under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) should be interpreted. It is a high-stakes issue because assembly operations for vehicles and their “Core Parts” (engine, transmission, etc.) inevitably involve lengthy bills of materials with components from many countries, and what is being disputed is whether Core Parts once found to meet the USMCA requirements to be “originating” can then have their value counted as originating value (i.e., “rolled up”) in the calculation of the regional value content (RVC) of the vehicle as a whole. Continue Reading Does the USMCA Mean What It Says? The Disputes Panel Hearing on the Auto Core Parts Rules of Origin
- The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) provides for financial and digital trade regulations that harmonize the treatment of fintech companies.
- North American companies leveraging digital assets for payments should consider strategic regional opportunities available under the new USMCA fintech Framework.
- The USMCA Parties (member countries) continue to license fintech companies using cryptocurrency and create regulatory sandboxes to incentivize experimentation with the new technology under relaxed regulatory conditions.
On January 16, 2020, the United States Senate voted by an overwhelming majority to pass the implementing legislation for the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) after months of tense negotiations with Democrats over revisions to the original agreement which had been signed by all three signatories on November 30, 2018.
The USMCA has been touted by its supporters as a comprehensive and modern trade agreement to replace the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But how does the USMCA differ from NAFTA and what is so modern about it? The following is a brief overview of the notable differences between this 21st century agreement and its predecessor:
Continue Reading Modernizing NAFTA: The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement
A tripartite agreement to save NAFTA has been reached. The agreement, reached late last night, provides Congress the necessary 60 days’ notice of the text to approve so that President Pena Nieto of Mexico can sign before he leaves office on November 30th. All three countries wanted to get a deal done before the change of government in Mexico to President – Elect Lopez Obrador.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the accord would be renamed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”). The USMCA will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, which dates to 1994 and covers $1.2 trillion in trade. The revised trade agreement addresses wide areas of the economy, ranging from patents and financial services to farming and auto manufacturing.
Continue Reading NAFTA Agreement Reached at the Eleventh Hour
The 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs announced today, and effective 15 days from now, raise a new cloud over the NAFTA negotiations. Although they temporarily exempt Canada and Mexico, the Administration has made it clear that the tariffs are still a prospect for Canada and Mexico if they do not make concessions on NAFTA. The Canadian and Mexican negotiators have rejected this linkage.
Continue Reading NAFTA Update
USTR Lighthizer yesterday delivered the Administration’s official 90-day notice to Congress that it will renegotiate NAFTA.
The notice says that the process will be carried out “consistent with Congressional priorities and objectives outlined in section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act,” which is the TPA fast-track legislation passed in 2015. This is a welcome indication that the Administration is proceeding, at least for now, in the manner that Congress contemplates. While President Trump could change course, there is for now at least reason to believe that the negotiation will proceed in the manner typical of FTA negotiations, with Congressional notification and ratification of the final agreement, rather than a Presidential assertion of unilateral authority to make revisions under the Trade Act of 1974 or the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
Continue Reading NAFTA Renegotiation Goes Live
The ongoing presidential election in the United States has underscored a move against free trade by both of the main political parties. This article briefly summarizes some of the proven benefits of free trade and juxtaposes these with the stated positions of the Democratic and Republican parties in the pending presidential election. The article also examines, and disposes of, several of the key criticisms of the legal framework underpinning further trade integration. The article ends hopefully—historically, U.S. Presidents have abandoned anti-trade campaign rhetoric once in the Oval Office.
Continue Reading A Surge In Populism: Dangers To Transnational Trade In The Americas And Reasons For Hope
On June 5, new EU’s anti-money laundering (AML) rules, namely the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“4AMLD”) and a new Regulation on the information accompanying transfer of funds were published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Together, this legislation represents the revised EU framework on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. Member States have until June 26, 2017 to transpose the requirements of the 4AMLD into national law.
Continue Reading New EU Rules on Disclosure of Ultimate Beneficial Owners
Today, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to implement changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba announced by President Obama on December 17, 2014.
Continue Reading OFAC Issues Cuban Asset Control Regulations focused on the U.S. Financial Sector