Close this search box.

Table of Contents

U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement


The U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement, also known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), is a free trade agreement that replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It governs commerce between the three countries, aiming to boost their economic growth by reducing trade barriers and promoting fairer competition. It covers various sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, digital trade, and intellectual property rights.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement” is:”Yoo-Es-Meks-i-koh Treyd Uh-gree-muhnt”

Key Takeaways


  1. The U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement, commonly known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), updates and replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This modernizes the previous agreement to support 21st century industries and includes clauses to reflect today’s digital economy.
  2. Under the USMCA, a larger proportion of auto components will have to be manufactured in the U.S. or Mexico in order to be tariff-free. This is meant to encourage manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and Mexico by increasing the regional content requirements.
  3. The agreement also aims to help American farmers by expanding and protecting U.S. agricultural exports. It does this by maintaining zero tariffs on agricultural products, improving market access, and implementing strong sanitary measures to protect food safety. It also enhances protections for biotech and other innovations in agricultural technology.



The U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement is significant because it governs trade relations between two of the world’s largest economies. The current agreement is the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in July 2020. This agreement is crucial because it facilitates the easy flow of goods and services between the countries, impacting many sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, and automotive. By eliminating most tariffs and reducing non-tariff barriers, it encourages increased trade and investment. Moreover, it also sets regulations on other important matters like intellectual property rights, labor standards, and environmental protection. Thus, any changes to this agreement can have wide-ranging implications for businesses operating in and across these countries.


The U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement, also known as the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), serves to create a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 2020, was designed to support mutual trade and investment among the three countries. Its purpose is to promote economic growth by strengthening trade links, ensuring fairness, reducing trade barriers, and creating jobs in the region. The agreement encourages economic integration and cooperation in North America and is employed as a means to increase competitiveness on the global stage.USMCA provisions cover a range of sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, digital trade, and intellectual property. Special provisions have also been designed to protect workers’ rights and the environment. For instance, it contributes to the farming industry by enabling farmers and ranchers to have more market access. The agreement also heightens protections for intellectual property, which is particularly crucial in this digital age. By addressing trade-related issues and fostering collaboration, the USMCA gives businesses the opportunity to grow, innovate, and expand their reach. This, in turn, supports economic stability and prosperity in the region.


1. United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA): The USMCA replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in July 2020. It presents a real-world example of a U.S.-Mexico trade agreement as it regulates trade between these two countries (and Canada). The agreement has been integral in governing the trade of various products such as automotive manufacturing, in which it requires 75% of a vehicle’s components to be manufactured in the United States, Mexico, or Canada. It also contains guidelines on labor regulations and environmental standards.2. Agricultural Trade: The U.S.-Mexico trade agreement has benefited the agricultural sector significantly. For example, American farmers export corn to Mexico, while Mexico exports fresh produce such as tomatoes and avocados to the U.S. The two countries have worked out complicated phytosanitary and safety measures to allow these trades to happen effectively and safely. 3. The Tequila Agreement: This U.S.-Mexico trade agreement from 1994 offers protection for the Tequila and Mezcal sectors, ensuring that these spirits are produced in their designated geographic areas in Mexico. This agreement also oversees labeling and advertising regulations which contribute to the economic growth and protection of these industries, benefiting both countries.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement?

The U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement is a bilateral agreement geared towards promoting trade between the United States and Mexico by reducing or eliminating restrictions and tariffs and enhancing other trade protections.

When was the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement established?

The U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement was announced in August 2018 as a proposed replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, it was later implemented as part of the broader United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that went into effect on July 1, 2020.

What are the main differences between the NAFTA and the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement?

The U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement includes several updates from the NAFTA, including stronger worker protection, new rules for digital trade, and increased protections for intellectual property.

How does the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement impact businesses in both countries?

The agreement impacts businesses by streamlining the process of importing and exporting goods, which might lower the costs associated with cross-border trade. It also offers intellectual property protections, which can be essential for businesses in sectors such as tech, pharmaceuticals, and entertainment.

What is the USMCA?

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada that replaced NAFTA. It includes many provisions of the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement and includes regulations related to automotive manufacturing, labor regulations, and digital trade.

Are there any criticisms of the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement?

Some critics argue that the agreement could result in job losses in some industries and regions, as well as increased prices for consumers. There are also criticisms related to the agreement’s impact on the environment and public health.

How can businesses stay updated about the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement and what it means for them?

Businesses can stay informed through official government resources, legal advisories, and professional trade organizations that provide updates and resources related to changes in international trade regulations.

Is the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement a legally binding contract?

Yes, International trade agreements like the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement are typically legally binding, which means all parties involved are legally obligated to uphold the terms of the agreement.

Has the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement been beneficial for the economy?

There are varying opinions on this. Generally, it is seen as beneficial for certain sectors, like agriculture and manufacturing because of the reduced tariffs and increased market access. However, the extent of its economic benefits will become more clear over time.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More