North American Trade Agreement – Privacy Principles

The recently negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has moved away from the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by introducing a new chapter on ‘Digital Trade’.

The United States, Canada and Mexico have agreed to adopt or maintain a legal framework that provides protection for Personal Information pertaining to users of online trade. The agreement gives due consideration to OECD Cross Border Privacy and the APEC Privacy Framework. Each party shall adopt appropriate measures to limit the sending of unsolicited commercial electronic communications and obtain proper consent before doing so.

In accordance with Article 19.8 each party acknowledges the social and economic advantages of protecting the personal information of users of digital trade. Each party will also endeavor to:

  1. adopt non-discriminatory practices in protecting users of digital trade from protection violations occurring within its jurisdiction

  2. exchange information on the mechanisms applied in their jurisdictions; and

  3. explore ways to extend these or other suitable arrangements to promote compatibility between them.

The parties should also endevor to share their digital trade experiences on policies, regulations and compliance, including; protection of Personal Information, electronic communications security, authentication and government use of digital technologies to achieve better government performance.

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