CUSMA / USMCA / T-MEC

What is CUSMA / USMCA / T-MEC?

CUSMA, also referred to as USMCA or T-MEC, is a free trade agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico that will come into effect as of July 1st, 2020. Rather than being viewed as a wholly new agreement, it has been characterized as NAFTA 2.0.

What has changed from NAFTA?

New Certificate of Origin

A new certificate will be required as of July 1, 2020. Both electronic and digital signatures will be acceptable.

Audits and Claims

Be sure to retain documentation for 6 years. Claims can be made for 4 years from date of import into Canada.

De Minimis

The de minimis threshold has increased to $150 for duties, and $40 for sales tax into Canada. The U.S. rate will remain the same at $800.

Intellectual Property

There is an increase from 8 to 10 years of the time that a pharmaceutical company can maintain a patent on biologics. Copyright terms were also extended from 50 years after the death of an author to 70 years.

Industries Most Affected

Both the auto and agricultural sectors will be most affected by the new Agreement.

Agreement Acronyms

CUSMA
Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement

USMCA
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

T-MEC
Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá

Agreement Timeline

1994

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into force in 1994 with the goal to eliminate barriers to trade and investment between partners of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

2016

THIS NAFTA revision stemmed from successful U.S. President Donald Trumps’s 2016 election campaign to “tear up NAFTA”, in an effort to reduce the U.S. trade deficit. 

2018

After several rounds of negotiations, an agreement was reached in September 2018, and in November 2018 the agreement was signed at the G20 summit by partners.

2020

The new Agreement will come into effect on July 1st, 2020.