In January, the Senate finally passed the United States Mexico Canada Agreement. The Senate approved the USMCA by a vote of 89–10, sending the bill to President Trump for his signature. This is after ASA held a lengthy advocacy campaign in support of Congress signing the agreement.
The continued success of U.S. manufacturing depends on our critical North American partnerships. Canada and Mexico alone purchase one-fifth of the total value of U.S. manufacturing outpost. Canada and Mexico purchase more U.S.-made goods than our next 10 trading partners combined despite representing only six percent of the world’s population.
This new deal modernizes a trading relationship that began over 24 years ago. It contains stronger enforcement provisions and ends panel blocking by any country – that means Canada and Mexico will be held accountable and must follow the rules.
The administration achieved historic labor and environmental reforms in USMCA that will force Mexico to improve its standards instead of depressing U.S. wages. This approach is more meaningful and balanced than liberal Democrats’ demands for including provisions from the Paris Climate Accord or the expensive Butch Lewis Multiemployer Pension Act. By setting strict appropriations requirements around some of the additional spending Democrats have called for, USMCA reins in reckless spending.
The USMCA updates and makes significant improvements in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and provides manufacturers much needed certainty within the North American market. In fact, the USMCA has the best labor and environmental provisions in any trade agreement, including the original NAFTA. The current NAFTA was written before the internet became the primary medium for commerce. USMCA contains a first-of-its-kind digital chapter, setting global standards for how we trade online.
Let us not forget to talk about jobs! The jobs of more than two million American manufacturing workers depends on exports to Canada and Mexico, along with more than 43,000 small- and medium-sized businesses. Today, trade with Mexico and Canada supports over 12 million U.S. jobs.
Independent experts predict USMCA’s approval will add another 176,000 jobs throughout America. As Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), who is also the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, has said: “Today is a historic day for the American worker. Under President Trump’s leadership, we have dramatically improved the trajectory of our economy – overhauling our tax code for the first time in 30 years, making the IRS more accountable and fairer for Americans for the first time in over a decade, and now modernizing our North American trading relationship for the first time in a quarter century to benefit all Americans. Through the USMCA, our job creators will continue to compete and grow as we create more opportunities to sell our American goods and services to more customers, allowing them to add jobs and spurring economic growth here at home.”
ASA Advocacy has been on the Hill advocating for the passage of this agreement and is very pleased that the USMCA was passed and headed to the President’s desk for the final stage of the agreement. ASA is dedicated to fighting for issues that affect YOU! Please contact Catherine Treadwell Perry, J.D., director of government relations, at email@example.com with issues that are affecting your business.