This past Wednesday, the美国 - 墨西哥加拿大协议(USMCA) finally entered into force. The agreement replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the region’s guiding trade framework, governing the movement of hundreds of billions of dollars in goods and services. Yet, the agreement has arrived at achallenging moment，具有公共卫生，经济和政治动荡，重塑北美及其未来。虽然协议将为区域贸易提供令，但与目前戏剧的其他结构力量相比，其直接影响将苍白。
In large part, the new agreement looks a lot like its predecessor. However, the USMCA contains some significant new rules and frameworks. In particular, the North American automotive industry will now have to prove higher regional content for its vehicles (66%, compared to 62.5%),加拿大将开设其乳制品市场，有新部门的指导方针，如电子商务和数字贸易。
USMCA Impact Pales in Comparison to COVID
While the USMCA aims to boost North America’s interlocked economies, other forces are reshaping the region. The COVID-19 pandemic is the largest disrupting force, with the region’s three countries continuing to battle outbreaks and significant community spread. Across the United States and Mexico, new case numbers are quickly ticking upward, and there are few signs that the spread will be under control soon.
事情不会很快就会好起来的，特别是如果Covid-19爆发在所有三个国家继续持续下去。这种情况可能在墨西哥最严重，andrésmanuelLópezobrador总统通过加倍努力回应公共卫生和经济危机政府紧缩。墨西哥总统也试图使Pemex, the state-owned oil company, the centerpiece of the country’s economic development, even amid the bottomed out petroleum prices.
COVID-19 exposed the risks associated with geographically dispersed supply chains, as each country’s response to the pandemic affects a company’s overall production.
In response to these economic contractions, governments across the region have been speeding up timelines to reopen their economies. This week, Mexico City reopened its shops, markets, hotels and restaurants at a limited capacity. Other U.S. states and Canada have also undertaken similar re-openings. Yet while these steps will allow for some economic life to breathe back in, they also open the door for further outbreaks.
These closings and re-openings have also contributed to a regional rethink of global business. For more than two decades, North American businesses steadily expanded their supply chains across the continent and the world. Automotive, aerospace and electronics manufacturers shipped pieces and parts across the region’s borders as products were steadily assembled.
Yet, COVID-19 exposed the risks associated with geographically dispersed supply chains, as each country’s response to the pandemic affects a company’s overall production.
In North America, this dynamic played out in dramatic fashion. As Mexico shut down its factories amid the pandemic, U.S. companies suddenly couldn’t get the parts necessary to continue their production. Eventually, U.S. companies pushed Mexico and succeeded in getting factories added to the country’s list of essential businesses that could reopen. However, this episode and similar experiences globally will reshape how companies think about their supply chains and resilience.
Tariffs Already Threatening
在经济动荡中，该地区的政治领导也将继续影响北美的经济一体化，有时会直接反对USMCA促进自由贸易。6月，美国政府再次威胁加拿大10％铝制税..during an increase in aluminum imports. If the U.S. administration moves forward with the threat, Canada will also impose retaliatory tariffs on aluminum and potentially on a range of other products within the USMCA’s first few weeks.
These types of threats and economic sanctions are unlikely to go away anytime soon. Since entering office, the U.S. administration has wielded tariffs in its foreign policy to extract economic and other concessions from countries globally. The USMCA’s implementation, while important for the region, is unlikely to fundamentally change this dynamic. In fact, it could even aggravate tensions as businesses adapt to the new rules and the agreement’s effects become clearer.
然而，即使北美最直接的经济转变不会来自USMCA，该协议仍然是一个主要的区域成就。协议更新区域贸易规则，并为21世纪的经济现代化。它还代表了北美自行的另一个赌注 - 三个国家将自己与其经济共同统一，以乘坐当前的范式转变。