NAFTA: Reviewed, Revised, Renamed

Current Events, Searching
Lauren Mattiuzzo

Changes are on the rise for the nearly 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. These three countries met and negotiated a last-minute agreement, which revised and could ultimately replace, NAFTA. This new agreement would be called USMCA, standing for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and President Enrique Pena Nieto and are expected to sign the deal by the end of November, when it will then be passed to Congress to approve. Read below for a brief summary of USMCA negotiation terms.

New Negotiating Terms

Got Milk?

Under NAFTA, Canada is currently limited on how much milk, cheese, and other dairy products can come from the United States. Under the new proposed agreement, Canada agreed to open up its market to allow U.S. farmers to export more dairy products. In exchange, the U.S. will allow more Canadian dairy, peanuts, and a limited supply of sugar to cross the border.

Car Manufacturing

In order for cars to be free from tariffs, it was agreed upon that 75% of vehicle parts will be manufactured in North America, which is about 12% higher than under the current agreement, NAFTA. The goal is to bring back some production that has moved abroad.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

The U.S. was originally in favor of ending USMCA after five years, unless the three countries agreed to renew it. However, Mexico and Canada feared that decision might impede investment in their countries if the agreement was ever in question. New negotiations state the agreement will be effective for 16 years, unless the countries decide to renew it. They must meet every six years to decide if the deadline should be extended.

Conflict Resolution

If any of the countries violate the agreement, there are rules set in place from NAFTA which hold the nations accountable. Only one provision will change: Chapter 11 will be removed between the U.S. and Canada however, it will remain for key issues which relate to infrastructure and telecommunications between the U.S. and Mexico. Two other rules will remain unchanged.

Helping Hand

The new trade agreement requires 40 to 45% of car and truck parts be made by workers earning at least $16 an hour. The goal is to even the playing field between the United States and Mexico and incentivize manufacturers to build more in the U.S. Moreover, 75% of vehicle parts must now be made in North America, up from the 62.5% rule in NAFTA.

Digital Dilemma

With technological advances in the past two decades, the new agreement addresses new criminal penalties for pirating movies online. Now law enforcement can stop suspected counterfeit or pirated goods in any of the three countries.

Helpful Hints

To research NAFTA in HeinOnline, users can use several different avenues. Begin by entering the Law Journal Library. Enter NAFTA into the Full Text tab and click the search button. Let’s focus on the topic of dispute resolution. From the results page, expand the Topic facet and choose Dispute resolution. Then Sort by Number of Times Cited by Articles.

Relevant articles include:

Now, let’s run a proximity search to locate information about NAFTA regarding Canada and dairy products. Using the Full Text tab, enter “Canada NAFTA dairy”~20 and click the search button.

To find what has been recently published on this topic, choose Volume Date (Newest First) from the Sort by option on the results page.

Next, let’s take a look at the U.S. International Trade Library. In this database, run a search for NAFTA using the Full Text tab. From the results page expand the USITC Category from the facets on the left and choose NAFTA.

Lastly, using the Catalog tab, enter the word NAFTA into the search bar.

This returns results for all the titles in HeinOnline that contain the word NAFTA. Some useful resources include

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