Before today’s presidential signing ceremony for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) implementing legislation (H.R. 5430), I want to take a minute to reflect on the reasons it is a good agreement that will help fuel the digital economy among our three countries.

The North America Free Trade Agreement went into effect on January 1, 1994. To the larger economy, that’s a generation ago. To those of us in the technology sector, it’s eons.

That’s why Cisco and many other companies are pleased to see USMCA on its way to adoption and implementation after years of work by all three governments. While President Trump is signing USMCA into law, Canada’s Parliament is going through its ratification process, and we are hopeful of a positive outcome there.

Credit is richly deserved by the Trump Administration and the U.S. Congress, as well as by policymakers and lawmakers in Mexico and Canada, for reaching an historic outcome that attracted overwhelming bipartisan, bicameral support in the U.S.

USMCA will help businesses across North America thrive. Chapter 19 on the Digital Economy, in particular, will help propel the digital economy in North America by:

  • Enabling cross-border data flows, while ensuring laws are in place to:
    • Facilitate the adoption of responsible data privacy frameworks, such as the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules
    • Protect consumers from fraudulent or deceptive commercial activities
    • Limit unsolicited commercial electronic communications
  • Prompting the governments to work together on risk-based approaches to cybersecurity
  • Protecting source code and algorithms from disclosure as a condition of market access
  • Constraining the government’s ability to require localization of data storage or processing

USMCA means that North American consumers and businesses can rely on high-standard, predictable rules of the road that accelerate the digital economy.

The dedication by policymakers and lawmakers in the U.S., Mexico and Canada is appreciated. Together, they achieved a positive outcome for North American businesses, and we look forward to working with all of them on implementing USMCA.


Related: U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Enables the Digital Economy


Jennifer Sanford

Senior Manager of International Trade and Energy/Environment Policy

Cisco Global Policy and Government Affairs