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North America

As the U.S.’ neighbors in North America, Canada and Mexico are the logical first stops for Wisconsin companies that are new to exporting.  The countries share geographic proximity, cultural ties and a long history of doing business together. Customers in these markets have a high level of trust in U.S.-made products, and the high volume of trading among these countries means potential local partners in these markets are likely to be well versed in handling logistical and regulatory issues that may arise. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into force in 1994 eliminated most duties on Wisconsin’s exports into Canada and Mexico. On July 1, 2020, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) took effect, with new rules affecting the trade of cars and auto parts, new policies on labor and environmental standards, intellectual property protections, digital trade provisions and rules of origin. The agreement facilitates a freer movement of digital products and services and increases access for several categories of dairy products into the Canadian market. The new agreement also has more stringent local content requirements with respect to core automotive parts and textile products. The agreement also will help clarify cross-border e-commerce transactions, providing Wisconsin businesses with opportunities to sell via their ecommerce platforms to Canadian customers.

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