November 30, Buenos Aires - On the fringes of the G20 Summit held in Argentina, the US, Mexico, and Canada officially signed a new trilateral trade agreement, known as the USMCA. The Agreement is supposed to replace and “modernize” NAFTA that has been in force in 1994.
Photo: by Jorge Aguilar on Unsplash
Regardless of whether the USMCA will be a hit or a miss to the signatory states, the wording of the Agreement represents a victory for PBR in Mexico. Article 20.7 (2) obliges Mexico to accede to the Act 1991 of UPOV “by the date of entry into force of this Agreement”. The USMCA further establishes tougher penalties for IP infringements and broadens competences of the law enforcement as to anti-counterfeit in three countries. While the USMCA’s IP-related clauses can be regarded as a promising development, the Agreements’ impact on IP will strongly depend on the national provisions and enforcement mechanisms as it is yet to be ratified by the countries' lawmakers. Given the rather strenuous character of negotiations leading to the signing, it might take as long as two years before its provisions are in force. Along with concluding the USMCA, Mexico has recently ratified the CPTPP (previously - TPP), which also foresees the country's accession to the UPOV 1991 within four years after the CPTPP’s entry into force on December 31, 2018.