We expect that the U.S. – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) will be considered and passed in the Senate in the next few weeks, after 90 percent of the House voted in favor of the measure in December. The first step in the Senate will be a Finance Committee markup of the USMCA bill on Jan. 7. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will make sure that no amendments pass. Then the unamendable status of USMCA under the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) will be preserved on the Senate floor.
Timing of Senate passage remains unclear at this point, although MEMA is watching carefully and there have been some clues that help us narrow down timing. Senator McConnell has announced the postponement of the impeachment trial and a resumption of “ordinary business of the Senate.” That may mean that the USMCA will pass ahead of the trial start. After the Senate passes the USMCA, President Trump will sign the measure, less than three years after the start of negotiations in August 2017.
The Mexican Senate passed its USMCA implementing legislation on June 20, 2019, and quickly adopted the agreement’s amendments on Dec. 12, 2019. The Canadian Parliament is expected to pass the USMCA deal in February (notably, after the U.S. passes the measure) when its 2020 session begins.
After the three nations approve the USMCA, they will begin negotiations on uniform regulations to formally implement the USMCA.
MEMA continues to work closely with our members, the Office of the USTR staff, and other stakeholders on these important next steps. For more information, please contact Bill Frymoyer or Leigh Merino.