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The United States Reaches a New Trade Deal with Mexico

August 28, 2018

Immigration not part of the discussion. No immediate changes to immigration expected.

Update: President Donald Trump announced in a press conference on Monday that the United States and Mexico have agreed on revisions to key parts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new agreement will be called the “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.” Canada is not part of the deal but has been invited to rejoin the negotiations. The agreement is not yet final, it still must be approved by the U.S. and Mexican legislatures.

Immigration  Impact: Currently no changes have been announced regarding the non-immigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) visa which allows citizens of Canada and Mexico, as NAFTA professionals, to work in the United States. The president’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, said in an interview that the border wall and immigration were not a part of negotiations with Mexico and were considered a separate matter.

Analysis: The administration has previously expressed a desire to limit the number of eligible professions and decrease the number of visa renewals under the TN program. In practice, USCIS has already limited the scope of the program through narrow interpretation of the rules. However, at this moment the TN visa program will continue as normal. It is not clear whether immigration it will be impacted by subsequent negotiations and, if so, how that will affect the availability of US work permits for Mexican citizen professionals.