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US Senators urge delay to USMCA implementation

02 April 2020

A bipartisan group of 19 US Senators urged the Trump administration to delay the planned 1 June start date for USMCA, saying that the short implementation period would pile pressure on US companies facing tough times due to coronavirus.

According to reporting from Reuters, the Senators, led by Republican Chuck Grassley and Democrat Ron Wyden, sent a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging a delay. The letter states that the new trade deal, which would replace NAFTA, should not be put into force until Mexico and Canada are in full compliance with their commitments.

"Even absent the pandemic, a 1 June deadline would be highly aggressive, and raises questions as to whether businesses have the information they need to adjust to the new rules and comply by that date," the senators wrote. "We ask you to delay the proposed June 1 entry into force and work with Congress and stakeholders to determine a more feasible timeline."

In a statement to a G20 trade ministers call, Lighthizer on 30 April cautioned against using the coronavirus crisis to "push other agendas" in trade and other areas. Instead, the Group of 20 economies should stay focused on defeating the pandemic.

"Let us not make long-term decisions in the midst of a crisis," Lighthizer said.

Read more about this story here.


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