The US government has strengthened labor, environmental, pharmaceutical and enforcement provisions in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), setting the stage for its passage. The new USMCA includes several improvements that would greatly benefit the U.S. textile industry and bolster the $20 billion in annual trilateral textile and apparel trade.
The key updates and modifications that USMCA makes over NAFTA include creation of a separate chapter for textiles and apparel rules of origin with strong customs enforcement language, and stronger rules of origin for sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics and certain coated fabrics.
Under the current NAFTA, these items can be sourced from outside the region. USMCA fixes this loophole and ensures these secondary components are originating to the region.
In addition, USMCA fixes the Kissell Amendment Buy American loophole, ensuring that a significant amount the Department of Homeland Security spends annually on clothing and textiles for the Transportation Security Administration benefits domestically produced products.