First, the clause does not specify the meaning of the terms it uses. It is likely that the “[E]ntry by a Party” in the NME Free Trade Agreement covers all formal acts leading to the entry into force of an agreement, including the signing of a bilateral agreement, but also adherence to an existing agreement that includes a covered non-market economy. But does a “free trade agreement” mean only a full-fledged free trade area that “essentially covers all trade” within the meaning of Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade? Or is there a sectoral agreement under the WTO enabling clause that China and Mexico can sign as developing countries?25 An important contribution from the USMCA is Article 32.10, which offers the ability to block non-market economies. It discouraged any party from signing false “free trade agreements” with countries that do not allow open competition or full property rights and therefore cannot act freely. This is clearly and correctly directed against China. It cannot be ruled out that a party wishing to apply this paragraph would advance the less plausible reading, that it could avail itself of the termination of the contract. Since this information may take place without prior decision or authorization, the ambiguity of paragraph 5 could be used by one party to act unilaterally on the basis of its unilateral interpretation and leave it to other parties to request a decision. But in this case, the result would be enigmatic: the right of one party to denounce the USMCA, including between the other two parties, and to replace the USMCA with a bilateral agreement with a party with which it has just unilaterally denounced an almost identical agreement. In any event, as explained below in Section 3, even a unilateral termination clause would not significantly increase the opportunities available to the parties. When the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Trade Agreement (USMCA) was signed on November 30, 2018 to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), there was a broad surprise that an “anti-China” clause would be included in the new agreement. which provides for legal consequences in the event that a part of the USMCA wishes to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) with “a non-market-linked country”4. “Create a transparency mechanism and take appropriate action when [the other party] negotiates a free trade agreement with a non-market-bound country.”5 The first relevant context is the second sentence of paragraph 5, which provides that the dismissing parties can replace the USMCA with an agreement, “Grammatical and logically, such a bilateral agreement can only be concluded “between two parties”.
Since paragraphs 5 1 and 2 refer to a single object (hereafter referred to as the other contracting parties), the only internal converging interpretation of this sentence is that the activation of this provision compels the other two parties to act jointly.18 In addition, the obligation in paragraph 7 is for the terminating parties to use the notice provided in paragraph 5 to the terminating parties. to “verify [the USMCA] and determine whether changes are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the bilateral agreement” not to logically meet with a single party.