USMCA Passes Senate, Heads to President's Desk

You Auto Know 01/17/20

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) passed the Senate on Thursday by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 89-10.  AIADA released a statement recognizing the importance of a North American trade pact for auto dealers and their customers. 

The U.S. is now the second of the three partner nations to approve the agreement, with Canada expected to also pass the deal soon.  Yesterday's vote capped several years since the three nations agreed to begin the process of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and more than a year since a renegotiated deal was announced in November of 2018. The president is expected to sign the agreement in short order.

USMCA contains stricter "rules of origin" (ROO) for cars, requiring 75 percent of a vehicle's components to be made in North America, up from 62.5 percent in the current NAFTA, and 40-45 percent vehicle content made by workers making at least $16 an hour. There are also more stringent requirements for the use of North American steel and aluminum.  The revised pact won't enter into force until ninety days after all three countries ratify the agreement.


Phil Hogan, the new European Trade Commissioner, was in Washington this week for meetings with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer and others, a first step in an effort between the U.S. and E.U. to "re-set" their trade relationship.  Though no significant progress was reported out of this visit, he is expected to be back in February or March to continue discussions.


A clause within a spending bill passed late last year required that the U.S. Department of Commerce publish the results of its Section 232 investigation that led them to declare that imported autos and parts were a threat to U.S. national security.  It's unclear whether Commerce plans to meet the deadline of this Sunday to do so.


Show Congress the Vehicles on Your Lot Are Not a National Security Threat!


Quotes of the Week

"Once it is signed by the president, and its rules pertaining to autos are finalized, this agreement should provide a framework under which the auto industry in America can continue to grow. Today's vote is a vote for stability and security for America's auto dealers and their customers."

            -Cody Lusk, President and CEO, AIADA (

"...we need to tear down barriers to trade, and limit the use of tariffs. Let's not forget, American businesses and consumers pay the tariffs."

            -Tom Donahue, CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce (

"If he believes that bringing the tariffs and the threat of tariffs brings people to the table, well, he's wrong.  We just don't operate that way. We want to be at the table anyway."

            -Phil Hogan, European Trade Commissioner (Politico)

Must Watch

Watch as the USMCA is passed by the Senate.

Friday Funny

Prankster Appears in Australian Court for 'Scuba Driving' Flooded Car to Liquor Store

A YouTube prankster who drove a car filled with water to a liquor store and bought beer during a heat wave has appeared in an Australian court to face charges related to the "scuba driving" stunt.

Michael Alexander Philippou, 28, appeared in front of the Christies Beach Magistrates Court in Adelaide on Wednesday over several driving offenses.

Philippou had posted the viral video in January 2019, showing him driving a modified car  wearing goggles and scuba diving regulators while driving the sedan during the heat wave.

The suspension of the leaking sedan clearly struggled with the weight of water as it drove to a drive-in liquor store where Philippou and O'Doherty bought two bottles of beer and drank them underwater.

Our car doesn't have air conditioning so we've designed a car which can drive while full of water," one brother said in the video, which has garnered over a million views.

(Fox News