On April 30, 2020, Lindsay Meyer was quoted in FreightWaves discussing the difficulties of launching the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the article, U.S. trade associations and members of Congress are pushing to delay the July 1 launch date, arguing that the pandemic has diverted resources needed to ensure a smooth transition from the previous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the USMCA.
Meyer said she has mixed feelings about delaying the start of USMCA. “On the one hand, given the pandemic, there are challenges in the supply chain, which from a North American perspective are most pronounced in the order by Mexican President Manuel Obrador to halt manufacturing operations in Mexico,” Meyer told FreightWaves. “That has been a pinch for some U.S. manufacturers who rely on Mexican-made parts and components.”
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Mexican government suspended all non-essential activities – including the closure of hundreds of factories along the U.S.-Mexico border – on March 30.
Meyer said the USMCA will most likely begin on July 1, but certain industries should be given a grace period. “Then, the Trump administration can claim a win by that effective date (July 1), yet the industries that will be most significantly impacted – automotive and manufacturing – perhaps they’ll have a little bit of a grace period to see the implementation,” Meyer said.