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The new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada is the first to include a chapter dedicated to small- and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to Barbara Weltman. She unpacks The United State-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at her Big Ideas for Small Business blog and lists a number of the changes that will impact SMEs the most.

“The USMCA establishes information-sharing tools that will help SMEs better understand the benefits of the agreement and provides other information useful for SMEs doing business in the region,” Weltman writes. “The SME chapter also establishes a committee on SME issues comprised of government officials from each country.”

Additionally, she highlights provisions that:

  • reduce regulations on U.S. shipments of under $2,500;
  • prohibit customs duties on digital products distributed electronically;
  • encourage parties to consider the effects of regulatory actions on SME service suppliers;
  • eliminate local presence requirements for cross-border service providers; and
  • promote transparency and accountability when developing and implementing regulations, which Weltman thinks will reduce unnecessarily burdensome regulatory requirements.

“The USMCA also includes a framework for an ongoing SME Dialogue, which will be open to participation by SMEs, to provide views and information to government officials on the implementation and further modernization of the agreement,” she adds. “The purpose: to ensure that SMEs continue to benefit.”

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