CUSMA - What you need to know about the "New NAFTA"

Canada, the United States and Mexico signed a new North American trade agreement to replace NAFTA on November 30, 2018. The CUSMA (or USMCA in the U.S.) came into force in Canada in July 2020. Like NAFTA, the new agreement established more than two dozen trilateral committees and includes some classic and some new procedures for resolving disputes between two or more countries.

CUSMA's labour provisions improve on the toothless NAFTA side-agreement on labour. It is also positive that Canada witheld consent to investor-state dispute settlement in CUSMA due to the threats ISDS posed for public interest regulation. But the agreement sustains and expands many of NAFTA's other restrictions on public policy space in areasa such as intellectual property rights, consumer regulation, e-commerce, and food safety standards.

Op-eds and blogs



Mexico's failure to protect the vaquita: a test of the USMCA environment chapter - Experts discuss the critically endangered vaquita porpoise, the threats to its survival and habitat, including from illegal activity, and the CUSMA trade agreement process to save the vaquita and hold Mexico accountable for its environmental commitments.

The Green New Deal(s) the World Needs Now - In the spring of 2020, the CCPA partnered with the New York and Brussels offices of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, the Institute for Policy Studies and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy to convene a series of webinars on the transformative and internationalist responses to the climate emergency that the world needs right now.

Presentation to Parliament on CUSMA - On February 25, 2020, Stuart Trew, editor of the Monitor and CCPA researcher, was a witness before the Standing Committee on International Trade's review of Bill C-4, An Act to implement the Agreement between Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States.

Beyond Neoliberalism: Toward a Trade Agenda for People and the Planet

Audio recordings of presentations to a trade alternatives workshop in Ottawa on October 30, 2019 that was organized by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Trade Justice Network, with support from Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung-New York.

The “New NAFTA”: Red Tape for Regulators? In this webinar, the CCPA’s Stuart Trew and Sharon Treat of the U.S.-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy explain how the USMCA’s chapters on technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary standards and “good regulatory practices” will put hurdles in the way of environmental, public health and consumer protection policies. (Webinar recorded on Nov. 16, 2018.)