eBay, Amazon, and retailers are weighing in on the latest developments regarding a North American trade deal. The US, Canada, and Mexico renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) late last year, and on Tuesday, House Democrats and the White House reached a deal that will see the House vote on the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) next week, as CNN reported.
While not everyone got what they wanted, businesses don’t like uncertainty, and many retailers applauded Tuesday’s announcement.
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from CEO Matthew Shay:
“Retailers are very encouraged by this positive step forward to approve the USMCA, which will provide key updates to the landmark North American Free Trade Agreement and promote long-term economic growth. The USMCA takes many important steps to modernize the agreement to reflect today’s global and digital economy. This agreement could not come at a better time and provides certainty for U.S. retailers that rely on the North American market, including those that operate in Canada and Mexico. It also ensures American families can continue to have access to a wide range of high-quality products at prices they can afford. We applaud the leadership of both President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for their commitment to reach a new and improved deal. We look forward to having this cross the finish line and continue the strong momentum in the consumer economy.”
Amazon Policy tweeted:
“Amazon applauds @USTradeRep and @SpeakerPelosi for striking a deal to bring #USMCA to a vote. The agreement breaks new ground on digital trade and cuts red tape for Amazon customers and sellers. We urge Congress to approve USMCA as soon as possible.”
eBay released the following statement from Andrea Stairs, General Manager of eBay Canada & Latin America:
“The new CUSMA agreement is a win for Canadian small businesses who export online. However, while it will help thousands of eBay small businesses by streamlining cross-border transactions, there remains work to be done on the implementation of the Canadian de minimis thresholds included in CUSMA. The Canadian government will need to ensure that its new two-tier threshold applies fairly to all Canadians so that consumers can enjoy enhanced predictability and small businesses can become more competitive without increased red tape.”
Stairs also tweeted her stance that “there’s still work to be done on the CUSMA’s de minimis provisions to ensure SMEs don’t face more red tape.” The de minimis threshold is the value below which goods can be shipped into the country before duties and taxes are assessed. Canada’s de minimis threshold is low – $20. As eBay Canada points out, “By comparison, the US has a $800 USD de minimis threshold that is applied to ecommerce.”
DigitalCommerce360 wrote about the agreement from retailers’ point of view and noted that the CUSMA agreement would still need to be passed in the Senate, as well as the legislatures in Mexico and Canada, before it could take effect.