The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), the landmark follow up to the 26-year-old NAFTA, remains poised for full implementation later this year. Despite the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, the trade offices of all three signatories have expressed their determination to abide by the original implementation date.

When USMCA was signed in November 2018, they set the ambitious goal of implementation for July 1, 2020. At the time it still required to be passed as law in all three countries, but in late 2019 it was approved by Congress and signed by the President in January 2020. The last, Canada, approved it in March.

Recently Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative, said that despite the pandemic all plans were to move ahead with the implementation. Revamping trade deals has been a central point for the Trump administration, with USMCA being a big priority.

The plans to implement moving ahead are most clearly illustrated by implementation instructions sent out to importers and brokers from Customs detailing steps on how to operate under USMCA. These include some basics on new and modified requirements and how to go about claiming preferential treatment for goods that fall under USMCA.

Any company that is currently importing or exporting in North America needs to be familiar with the new rules of calculation, transit, origin, exemptions, certifications, and even new changes to things like recordkeeping requirements.

That this aggressive deadline is coming fast and on-time means that anyone looking to work within this zone needs to have a broker that understands the details of how this will affect future supply chains, and how to best take advantage of the new laws. JM Rodgers can help with every aspect of this- from imports to exports, through Customs compliance and eventually duty refunds, we have you covered. To discuss how we can help you get ready, If you’d like to discuss how to remain in compliance and discuss your options for Customs compliance, exclusions, or duty drawback, please contact


James Rodgers CEO