Top 7 Reasons Congress Must Pass USMCA This Fall

John G. Murphy

Monday, September 16th, 2019

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a landmark trade agreement that will preserve and strengthen trade within North America. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is urging Congress to approve the pact early this fall.

Why is approval of USMCA an urgent priority for American workers, farmers, and businesses?

1. USMCA will lock in open trade with our two most important trading partners.

Canada and Mexico aren’t just the largest markets for U.S. exports. They are our top trading partners, and the flow of commerce across the continent supports 12 million American jobs. The two countries even accounted for 40% of all U.S. export growth over the past decade. USMCA will lock in tariff-free trade across North America for virtually all goods.

2. USMCA is vital to American manufacturers.

Canada and Mexico purchase more made-in-America manufactured goods than our next 11 largest export markets combined. U.S.-manufactured goods exports to Canada and Mexico support the jobs of more than 2 million men and women, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. USMCA guarantees tariff-free access to these markets for U.S.-made manufactured goods.

3. American farmers and ranchers need USMCA.

Nearly one-third of U.S. agricultural exports go to our North American neighbors, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, and Canada and Mexico are top buyers of U.S. grains, dairy products, meats, fruits, and vegetables. With the trade war with China depressing U.S. farm exports, American farmers and ranchers need the assurance USMCA will provide that they’ll continue to have guaranteed access to their two most important markets.

4. USMCA updates North American trade for the digital age.

The U.S. leads the world in services exports, which are growing 60% faster than goods trade, and more than half of all services exports can now be delivered to customers overseas digitally. USMCA builds on this American strength by providing best-in-class rules for digital trade, blocking protectionist barriers and allowing companies of all sizes and sectors to engage in digital commerce across the continent.

5. USMCA protects intellectual property and blocks counterfeiting and piracy.

Intellectual property is the secret sauce of American innovation, and IP-intensive industries employ more than 45 million Americans. Moreover, the average worker in these industries earns nearly 50% more than workers in other sectors. USMCA builds on these competitive advantages by providing modern protections for the full range of patents, copyrights and related rights, trademarks, designs, and trade secrets as well as strong enforcement tools to guard against counterfeiting and piracy.

6. USMCA boosts American small business exporters.

Canada and Mexico are the top two export destinations for U.S. small and medium-size enterprises, approximately 120,000 of which sell their goods and services to our two North American neighbors. USMCA is the first U.S. trade agreement with a chapter focusing specifically on small and medium-sized exporters, providing information-sharing tools that will help these companies do business and leverage the agreement’s power to cut through nontariff barriers to trade.

7. USMCA means certainty in a turbulent world.

While many U.S. economic indicators remain strong, recent trade actions have hit U.S. agriculture, manufacturing, and home building industries. Tit-for-tat tariffs have raised costs for families and businesses, foreign retaliation has reduced U.S. exports, and ongoing tariff threats have become a drag on business investment. Approving USMCA will reassure job creators and financial markets that commerce with our two most important trading partners can flourish under clear, consistent rules that facilitate long-term planning and investment.