USMCA, Canada, & Mexico
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a comprehensive economic and trade agreement that modifies the free-trade area that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) originally established in 1994. The entry-into-force date for USMCA is July 1, 2020.
NAFTA progressively eliminated almost all tariff and quota barriers governing intraregional trade among the three member countries during a 14-year transition period (1994–2008). The agreement also facilitated cross-border investment, required that sanitary and phytosanitary standards for trade be scientifically based, and expanded cooperation on environmental and labor issues.
The USMCA includes new provisions for digital trade, the protection of intellectual property, de minimis shipment levels, and financial services, among other items. In agriculture, the USMCA adds provisions on biotechnology, geographical indicators, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. All agricultural products that had zero tariffs under NAFTA continue to have zero tariffs under USMCA, and the USMCA provides broader market opportunities for U.S. exports to Canada of dairy, poultry, and egg products.
Tables showing the USMCA countries’ share of U.S. agricultural trade for selected commodities and comparing trade-weighted ad valorem tariff rates for U.S. agricultural trade with Canada and Mexico under USMCA to Most-Favored Nation (MFN) and WTO-bound tariff rates are available on the Data page.
Recent ERS Publications Relating to USMCA
ERS conducts research on a variety of topics related to issues affecting U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico agricultural trade, specific sectors within Canadian and Mexican agriculture, opportunities for furthering the integration of the USMCA countries’ agricultural sectors, and cross-border transportation issues.
- How Mexico’s Horticultural Export Sector Responded to the Food Safety Modernization Act (August 2023) uses a case study approach to investigate factors that may have facilitated the sector’s growing presence in the U.S. market—including food safety certification programs, the training of managers and farmworkers, investments in equipment and infrastructure, testing programs, and company size.
- Changes in U.S. Agricultural Imports From Latin America and the Caribbean (July 2023) identifies key changes in the country and product composition of this trade. The report finds that Mexico’s share of these imports grew from 44.1 percent during 2007-09 to 58.2 percent during 2019-21 and that consumer-oriented products such as fresh berries, tequila, fresh avocados, beef and beef products, and beer became more prominent parts of imports from the region.
- NAFTA at 20: North America's Free-Trade Area and Its Impact on Agriculture (February 2015) examines the integration of North America’s agricultural and food markets as a result of NAFTA since its implementation in 1994. NAFTA has had a profound effect on many aspects of North American agriculture over the past two decades.
- Opportunities for Making U.S.-Mexico Agricultural Trade More Agile (August 2016) explores ways to facilitate further growth in U.S.-Mexico agricultural trade focusing on the border processes and procedures that govern this trade.
- ERS Monthly Commodity Outlook Reports provide market analysis and short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade, including information on Canada and Mexico and their relationship to U.S. markets for exports and imports.
Relevant ERS Data Products
- Foreign Agricultural Trade of the United States (FATUS) provides U.S. agricultural exports and imports, volume and value, by country (including Canada and Mexico), by commodity, and by calendar year, fiscal year, and month.
- The International Baseline Data contain USDA’s 10-year projections of supply, demand, and trade for major agricultural commodities for selected countries. These projections provide country-level detail—including for Canada and Mexico—in support of the annual USDA long-term agricultural projections.
- The International Macroeconomic Data Set provides data from 1969 for real (adjusted for inflation) gross domestic product (GDP), population, real exchange rates, and other variables for the 181 countries that are most important for U.S. agricultural trade.
Relevant USDA Data Products
- Production, Supply, and Distribution (PS&D) contains official USDA data on production, supply, and distribution of agricultural commodities for the United States and major importing and exporting countries, including Canada and Mexico. The database provides projections for the coming year and historical data for more than 200 countries and major crop, livestock, fishery, and forest products.
- The Global Agricultural Trade System, compiled by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, is a database containing detailed U.S. agricultural trade data.