WASHINGTON DC (March 30, 2020) — Members of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade, are pushing for a delay to the proposed June 1 entry into force of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer led by Chairman Charles "Chuck" Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), the members raise concerns about whether businesses — already under pressure from COVID-19 — have the information and capacity to comply with new rules under the revised North American trade agreement. They also highlight that Mexico and Canada should be in full compliance with their commitments under the agreement before entry into force.
“USMCA should not enter into force prematurely — particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic — and thereby deny American farmers, workers, and businesses its intended benefits. We ask you to delay the proposed June 1 entry into force and work with Congress and stakeholders to determine a more feasible timeline,” the senators wrote.
In addition to Sens Grassley and Wyden, the letter is cosigned by John Cornyn (R-TX), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Thune (R-SD), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Carper (D-DE), Rob Portman (R-OhH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tim Scott (R-SC), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Todd Young (R-IN), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).
Full text of the letter follows or can be found HERE.