On June 19, Mexico became the first nation to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in a sweeping Senate vote. The agreement was signed by the three countries in 2018 to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The free trade agreement, when ratified by the U.S. and Canada, will update the terms of trade to regulate sectors such as ecommerce that did not exist when NAFTA was negotiated in 1994. The USMCA incorporates a sunset clause that says the terms of agreement will expire in 16 years unless re-negotiated.

While the continental trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada stalls in the ratification process, the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) quietly came into force on May 30. A unified market for the participating countries is set to be launched on July 7.

So far, 52 countries have signed the agreement and 24 of those legislations have ratified the agreement. The minimum threshold for passage is 22 legislative ratifications. The continent’s largest economy and most populous country, Nigeria, is yet to sign the AfCFTA. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is reportedly reviewing an impact assessment and consulting with domestic economic stakeholders to determine whether or not Nigeria will sign the agreement.

On May 17, the United States announced an agreement with Canada and Mexico to remove the Section 232 tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum imports and to remove all retaliatory tariffs imposed on American goods by those nations. In accordance with the agreement, all tariffs on these goods must be eliminated within two days.

As part of the agreement, the U.S. will terminate its World Trade Organization (WTO) litigation claim regarding Section 232 tariffs against Canada and Mexico, and in turn, Canada and Mexico will terminate their respective WTO claims against the U.S.