The White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the United States has reached final terms on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement (USMCA). The USMCA provides important modifications and updates to the 25-year old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and SEMI supports its timely ratification in the U.S. Congress.
The USMCA includes significant provisions to protect continued innovation and North American market access across product design and manufacturing supply chains for the electronics industry. The agreement strengthens requirements for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, including trade secrets. The U.S. microelectronics industry will benefit greatly from USMCA’s strong enforcement mechanism for the misappropriation of trade secrets including civil procedures and remedies, criminal penalties, and judicial procedures to prevent disclosure of trade secrets in litigation.
The agreement also establishes new rules to enhance and protect digital trade to benefit companies of all sizes and consumers. The USMCA prohibits tariffs, taxes and other barriers to cross-border data flows and minimizes restrictions on where data can be stored and processed. These provisions establish important precedents for data and digital technology in future trade agreements.
The USMCA aligns with SEMI’s core principles including open global markets, fair competition and the protection of intellectual property rights. Mexico and Canada are two of the United States’ most important trading partners, and strengthening the three countries’ mutual obligations under USMCA will greatly benefit SEMI members. SEMI welcomes final passage of the USMCA and the critical certainty it will bring to trade rules within North America going forward.
Joe Pasetti is Vice President, Global Public Policy & Advocacy, at SEMI.