Recent Developments Concerning Trade Issues Between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada

Meetings have taken place in preparation for the Mid-Year Check-In meetings related to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Cara Morrow, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), met with Mexico’s Under Secretary of Economy for Foreign Trade, Alejandro Encinas, in Toronto. Discussions in the meeting included topics such as steel and aluminum exports to the U.S. and the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. There was also a call for progress on Mexico’s energy policies and environmental laws related to fisheries. Notably, the USTR statement did not mention the dispute over GMO corn.

Morrow met with Canada’s Deputy Minister for International Trade, Rob Stewart, expressing dissatisfaction with Canada’s dairy tariff rate quota allocation measures, among other issues.

Canadian Ag Minister Lawrence MacAulay had discussions with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding proposed changes in voluntary “Product of USA” labeling regulations for meat and livestock, as well as California’s Proposition 12. Canada raised concerns that these rules could potentially restrict trade and disrupt supply chains. USDA’s final rule on voluntary Product of USA labeling is currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget.

Recall that the U.S. recently lost a dispute with Canada on dairy issues and is currently pursuing a case under USMCA related to Mexico’s ban on imports of GMO corn.