In the final weeks and days of 2019, significant changes via legislative ratifications to the North American investment treaty template were made, most notably with approvals of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that will replace the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On December 10, the three governments signed the final version of the pact. Two days later, Mexico’s Senate passed it on a 107-1 vote. A week later, the US House of Representatives followed suit on a 385-41 vote.

In this working paper, Todd Tucker examines how the politics around USMCA generally—and investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS) specifically—were unique and complex in 2019.