Published: 23 October 2018

We move goods across the borders of Canada, the United States, and Mexico every day. So, when there are changes to the rules, we’re very interested.

The provisions of new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have been agreed to, but won’t actually take effect until 2020; and then, only if formally approved by each country.

In the meanwhile, it’s a bit difficult to figure out what the deal means for businesses in each country. Here are a few of the most significant changes, all of which appear to have fans as well as opponents.

  • To be duty-free, autos must be built with 75% North American content, compared to the current 62.5%. In addition, of the 75%, 40% must come from North American factories where the wage is $16 per hour. (Whether this is minimum or average wage is unclear.)

  • The United States will have access to about 3.6 percent of Canada’s dairy market, while increasing Canadian access to the U.S. dairy, peanut, and sugar products markets; and there will no longer be tariffs for whey or margarine.

  • Canadians will be able to bring or ship goods from the US up to a value of C$150, up from $20, without paying duty.

  • Generic drugs cannot be produced until 10 years after a new biologic drug is released, up from 8 years.

  • Canada will increase its copyright expiry from 50 years after the creator’s death, to 70 years after death.

  • Other intellectual property rules have also been made, including giving law enforcement the ability to stop shipments of suspected counterfeit goods.

As the lawyers tinker with the wording and each government has its chance to weigh in on the details, we’ll no doubt hear more about the USMCA.

Ameri-Can Logistics Ltd. is a trucking company servicing shipping ports, railroad depots, and communities throughout North America. Operating 24/7/365 with continuous dispatch services, businesses have relied on Ameri-Can to distribute their products to buyers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, for three decades.

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