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USMCA Entry Into Force: Key Policy Considerations and Changes from NAFTA

June 30, 2020
Arnold & Porter Webinar

In this webinar, members of our International Trade and Legislative and Public Policy group discuss the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which entered into force on July 1, 2020. While the original USMCA was signed in November 2018, it faced major hurdles in the US Congress until December 2019. The Trump Administration and the House Democrats held extensive negotiations to strengthen various enforcement commitments under the Agreement, resulting in substantial bipartisan support for passage of the free trade agreement. Not only does the USMCA provide an update to the NAFTA, which entered into force in 1994, it takes a novel approach to enforcement of many of its commitments and it introduces new concepts to the traditional rules of origin principles.

This webinar provides insight into the Congressional priorities during USMCA that can serve as a helpful backdrop, in addition to providing context for ongoing negotiations for future trade agreements. Additionally, it provides an overview of the changes from NAFTA to USMCA with a focus on the automotive rules of origin.

The webinar is moderated by partner Lynn Fischer Fox, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Negotiations in the International Trade Administration at the US Department of Commerce.


David Skillman led Chairman Blumenauer's negotiations for the House Democrats' Trade Working Group, as it sought changes necessary for Congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. He also authored portions of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 and played a key role in the enactment of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.

Grace A. Kim previously served as International Trade Counsel, detailed from US Customs and Border Protection, to Chairman Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee. She represented Chairman Grassley's interests in drafting the customs provisions of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement. She also served as an Attorney-Advisor at US Customs and Border Protection, where she focused on various customs matters. Her practice focuses on interpretation and application of customs law, Free Trade Agreements, and preference programs.

Meet the Speakers

Lynn Fischer Fox
Arnold & Porter
David J.M. Skillman
Managing Director
Arnold & Porter