Twenty-five years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed with the intention to boost trade and investment among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Despite many controversies and doubts, NAFTA has been the most used trade agreement in American history. However, its time is coming to an end. On July 1st, it will be officially replaced by the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which intends to establish a new framework for North American trade.
In order to prepare for the upcoming changes, information is key. It is extremely important that companies stay up to date with the terms and conditions in areas such as intellectual property, labor, and new rules of origin. All companies will very likely need to transition to new procedures or even transform their entire operations. Do you believe your business is prepared for the CUSMA trade agreement?
Here are some tips on how ensure your business and your employees are prepared for the changes:
Determine Your Group
No matter what industry you are in, it is very important to understand how CUSMA will affect your business. However, it is also important to determine your company’s “group” before making big operational changes. There are industries that will simply be more affected than others, such as the three primary areas of economic and political importance: agriculture, automotive, and textiles.
Review Product Qualifications
If you are manufacturing, processing or altering purchased goods, you will need to analyze the products before issuing certifications or declarations to your customers – make sure that you check the rules of origin on your products to see if there have been any changes to it throughout the transition. If you just buy and resell and you do not issue NAFTA certificates or declarations, check to see if your vendor qualifications remain in place.
Communicate with a Brokers Agent
Customs brokers will be your best advisors through this transition. We have had rigorous training so we can ensure we are guiding our clients in the direction of making safe choices. New trade agreements can be daunting and confusing, and we can work together to ensure that your business can go through this transition smoothly.
If you still have questions about the CUSMA trade agreement, check out one of our previous blog posts, where we talked about all you need to know about the “new NAFTA.” If you want to know more about how Thompson Ahern can help you and your business through this transition, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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