A new addition to the USMCA is the inclusion of Chapter 33, which covers macroeconomic policies and exchange rate issues. For the first time in decades, Canada will increase its de minimis level from C$20 to C$40 for taxes. Canada also expects duty-free shipments of up to C$150. Mexico will continue to provide $50 tax-free de minimis and will also offer duty-free shipments worth $117. Dissemination values up to these levels would occur with a minimum of formal entry procedures, making it easier for more businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to be part of cross-border trade. The second parallel agreement is the North American Environmental Cooperation Agreement (NAAEC), which established the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in 1994. The CEC`s mission is to improve regional cooperation on the environment, reduce possible trade and environmental conflicts and promote the effective application of environmental legislation. It also facilitates cooperation and public participation in efforts to promote the conservation, protection and enhancement of the North American environment. It consists of three main elements: the Council (Minister of the Environment), the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) and the Secretariat, headquartered in Montreal. It has an annual budget of $9 million, with Canada, Mexico and the United States contributing $3 million per year, and is governed by a consensus (non-majority). There are three primary dispute settlement mechanisms that are included in NAFTA.
Chapter 20 is the resolution mechanism from one country to another. It is often considered the least controversial of the three mechanisms and was maintained in its original NAFTA form in USMCA….