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Helen Mann

Helen Mann is a freelance writer who works with supply chain and logistics professionals to help them communicate the impact of international trade on industry. After years of writing for audiences ranging from CEOs to purchasing agents, Helen knows how integral international trade is to economies on both sides of the border. Helen has written for TTX Company, the Intermodal Association of North America, and FTR Transportation Intelligence. She is a daily blogger at Freight Broker Live. In addition to her writing experience, she is certified in forecasting practice by the International Institute of Forecasters. Helen holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College, and an M.S. in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University.

Articles Written By Helen Mann

USMCA Aims to Help Workers with New Labor Provision; Importers Should Ensure Their Vendors Comply

Helen Mann | August 17, 2020 | Free Trade Agreements

If your company is importing goods duty free from Mexico thanks to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), you need to ensure your vendors are following Mexican labor laws or you could find yourself staring at a big bill for overdue duties.

The USMCA went into effect on July 1, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA ushered in a new era for North American trade, and the USMCA looks to build on that momentum, mostly keeping NAFTA’s tariff structure, while addressing aspects of the economy that weren’t big priorities in 1994, like e-commerce and digital trade.

Some of the updates in the new agreement got a lot of media play, like new rules of origin requirements and the sunset clause. There’s another important change, though, that’s less talked about: the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism. It may have garnered less attention than some of the other policies, but it matters just as much to importers and exporters.

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Here's What's New in the USMCA

Helen Mann | June 22, 2020 | Free Trade Agreements

On July 1, 2020, the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, expired, and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) took its place. NAFTA had a good run. It went into effect in 1994 and created the world’s largest free trade zone between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The goal of NAFTA was to bolster trade by reducing or eliminating most trade barriers (primarily in the form of tariffs), which it did. Between 1993 and 2017, trade between the three countries rose from $290 billion to more than $1.3 trillion.

Now, the USMCA takes its place. The new agreement modernizes NAFTA and addresses topics that were less relevant in 1994, such as e-commerce and the flow of international data.

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