After long negotiations, Canada, Mexico, and the USA have agreed on a successor to the NAFTA agreement, known in the USA as “USMCA” or “CUSMA” in Canada. The German automotive industry – manufacturers and suppliers – has already been present in these three countries for many years and has continuously extended its commitment. At present, German manufacturers and suppliers have over 450 locations in North America in total.
The German automotive industry is critical of the effective date of USMCA/CUSMA including the rules of origin (Rules of Origin Automotive, RoO), being on June 1, 2020 – instead of the previously notified effective date of January 1, 2021.
Our main issue of concern relates to the lack of legal and planning security which is required for the use of the free trade agreement and, in particular, for implementation among economic operators in accordance with the law (e.g. legally binding submission of the transition plan). Added to that are the current challenges that the global coronavirus pandemic presents to our industry. All global efforts have to be coordinated to fight this crisis.
Against this background – especially with regard to the effective date of USMCA/CUSMA on June 1, 2020 – we are advocating for a reasonable amount of preparation time to be ensured for the companies and that the rules of origin in USMCA/CUSMA be implemented in national law only one year after the transition to the negotiated “Uniform Regulations.” For the transition phase until this point in time, it would be possible to continue to proceed according to the NAFTA rules of origin after the effective date of USMCA/CUSMA.