Remarkable Anti-Corruption Framework in the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

On September 30, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published the proposed text of the agreement to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The new tripartite agreement — still subject to further revision — is comprised of 34 chapters, 11 annexes and 12 side letters, and notably, it covers a chapter alone on anti-corruption, which includes a regional commitment to curb corruption.

The USMCA’s anti-corruption efforts reached between the United States, Canada and Mexico represent a promising path forward to combat corruption both in the public and private sector, taking highly visible action through legislative measures, administrative enforcement actions and international cooperation. Based on the foregoing, it is critical for companies to undertake comprehensive risk assessments to develop or strengthen their compliance programs and internal audit procedures to self-align to international standards and mitigate potential corruption risks.

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