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USMCA dispute cases receive increased budget from the U.S.

The U.S. government expanded a budget line item to address dispute cases in the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA).

For fiscal year 2022, the U.S. government Administration requested US$72.1 million for Industry and Analysis.

This request was $6.1 million (9.2%) more than the amount enacted for FY 2021.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) budget justification in Congress included $2.9 million to support 12 positions to conduct national security reviews for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and an additional $3.1 million to support the Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT).

Also, the ITA highlighted increased administrative costs for the unit due to an anticipated increase in dispute cases filed under the USMCA.

Dispute Cases

The ITA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that promotes U.S. exports of services and non-agricultural goods.

The U.S. government continued to implement the USMCA, which requires the Trade Agreements Secretariat (TAS) to establish an electronic filing system for trade agreement dispute cases.

Currently, the TAS is administering more than a dozen USMCA enforcement disputes.

Budget items

In addition to regular appropriations, the U.S. Congress also approved supplemental funding in December 2019 for the White House Trade Representation (USTR) in the USMCA Enforcement Act.

Under this act, Congress provided $50.0 million for USTR to be available through September 30, 2023, for salaries and expenses to oversee compliance with the agreement’s labor and environmental obligations.

Also, the USMCA Implementation Act includes $40.0 million for the TETF to “carry out enforcement of environmental obligations under the USMCA, including state-to-state dispute settlement actions, during fiscal years 2020 through 2023.”

In addition to regular appropriations, Congress also approved supplemental funding in December 2019 for USTR in Title IX of the USMCA Implementation Act.

The USMCA provided a total of $90.0 million for USTR, which will be available through September 30, 2023.

The supplemental funds were provided to USTR to monitor compliance with the agreement’s labor and environmental obligations and to carry out enforcement of the USMCA’s environmental obligations, including state-to-state dispute settlement actions.

 

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