NAFTA affects the tech industry more than it seems

By Citlalli Campos

For more than 20 years, the economy of North American countries has been bound by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Mexico, and Canada. The main purpose of this trade was to compete with the European Union, by reducing or eliminating all the trade barriers that existed between the three countries mentioned above.  

A New Agreement 

In the last two years, due to the proposal of the United State president, a new agreement was created. The “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement” (USMCA) or as many call it “NAFTA 2.0”.  Has caused a lot of uncertainty about how it will affect the three countries involved. Change is necessary, we need changes that will motivate development and economic growth. Innovation as to seek to position North America as the leader of the digital future.

If we go back to a  time in which NAFTA was created, we can see how technology has evolved and adapted.  Terms like e-commerce, cryptocurrency, and IoT where sci-fy ideas. New forms of doing business appeared, and reshape the business landscape, companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon were but figments of our imagination that now drive growth and comfort.

How would USMCA affect the tech industry?

The USMCA agreement supports “Nearshore” like never before in the region, this result is positive because it pushes the release of digital laws. This translates to little to none custom tariffs or trade barriers for anything considered a digital service. The Intellectual Property Rights is considered as the most influential for the tech industry. Especially,  everything related to software development, the article 20.B.3 seeks to strengthen the application border of intellectual property rights, increasing the author protection years up to more to 70 years.

This agreement seeks that any modern business should care about issues that were not addressed in the original agreement, such as data protection and user privacy, cybersecurity, e-commerce, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Also, they need to create a social commitment, with consumer behavior, corporate strategies, job creation, and skills development.

Those who do not evolve die

Definitely, the USMCA should focus on being a tool that facilitates the jobs of the future. The evolution is continuous and does not have an end, for example, 3D prints, sooner than later they will substitute common printers and will fill the role of the modern machines and functions. In the same way, technology motivates the creation of new jobs, who was going to imagine that one day there would be application developers, data scientists or even influencers. Technology is the key to the future. 

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