Advisor and Former Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
August 12, 2019
Before Congress went out of session last month for the August recess, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to every U.S. senator and representative urging swift approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Our letter garnered the support of more than 600 national trade groups and state and local business associations. How difficult was it to convince more than 600 organizations to sign on?
It was easy.
That’s because support for USMCA across the business community is wide and deep. From automotive and aerospace to tech and tourism, companies in all 50 states and every industry agree on one thing: Congress must approve USMCA this fall.
Getting lawmakers to yes on USMCA is critical to our broader economy and to the long-term prosperity of our country. This historic agreement will preserve and strengthen commercial ties with Canada and Mexico, our two closest trade partners. It will ensure that U.S. manufacturers, farmers, and service providers can continue to do business with our North American neighbors, guaranteeing that virtually all U.S. exports will enter these markets tariff free. And by updating trade rules for the 21st century, USMCA will grow the digital economy, protect intellectual property, and strengthen American agriculture.
Businesses large and small stand only to gain from USMCA. To get this message across to members of Congress, the Chamber and its coalition partners launched a digital campaign to mobilize grassroots supporters of the deal. President Trump, Vice President Pence, Adviser to the President Ivanka Trump, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley all threw their weight behind this effort by using our hashtag (#USMCAnow), which caught the eyes of more than 250 million people on social media.
On the heels of our digital campaign, we hosted a national press conference on USMCA, which convened more than 20 reporters from major news outlets and 18 association leaders representing a wide range of industries and interests. The message to Congress? You can’t be pro-business and anti-USMCA.
We are working overtime during the August recess to organize events with members of Congress in dozens of key districts urging them to support this trade pact. At each of these events, we are reminding lawmakers what’s at stake. Trade with Canada and Mexico supports 12 million U.S. jobs, and many of those jobs are at risk if we fail to act.
Unless Congress takes responsibility, everyday Americans will bear the costs of inaction on USMCA – in the form of less economic opportunity and lost revenue. That’s why the Chamber will continue working with Republicans and Democrats alike to get this important agreement across the finish line.