Jared Levinson
Former Intern, Strategic Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


August 21, 2019


Congress will soon vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – a decision that will have a significant impact on the economic health of New Jersey’s farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses.

On a national scale, Canada and Mexico are by far the two largest U.S. export markets. In 2018, trade with the two countries reached nearly $1.4 trillion. Currently, trade with our North American neighbors supports 12 million American jobs across the country.

But how much will USMCA’s passage impact New Jersey?

Trade with Canada and Mexico supports 348,700 jobs based in New Jersey. USMCA is particularly vital for New Jersey’s manufacturing sector, which plays a large role in the state’s economy. The top categories for Garden State exports to Canada and Mexico include chemicals, food and beverages, plastics, and pharmaceuticals and medicines. Our North American neighbors buy about one-third of the state’s manufactured goods exports.

The total value of exports sent to Canada and Mexico from New Jersey in 2018 was $12 billion according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The top export products included the following:

New Jersey’s top three exports to Canada:

  • Nuclear Reactors, Boilers, and Machinery Parts
  • Electric Machinery, Equipment, and Parts
  • Vehicles (Except Railway Or Tramway) and Parts

New Jersey’s top three exports to Mexico:

  • Boilers and Electrical Appliances
  • Electrical Machinery and Equipment
  • Vehicles and Parts

New Jersey’s manufacturers stands to gain the most from the ratification of the USMCA. The National Association of Manufacturers reported that one out of four New Jersey manufacturing firms export to Canada and Mexico. Specifically, there were $9.5 billion worth of total manufactured goods exported to our North American neighbors in 2018, and more than 15,500 jobs within New Jersey’s manufacturing sector are tied to trade with Canada and Mexico.

New Jersey councilman for Chester Township Michael Inganamort emphasized the importance of trade for the state of New Jersey in an op-ed he penned in May. He highlights New Jersey as one of the fastest-growing export states and the 13th-biggest exporter by total dollar value.

“Swift passage of this agreement would not only safeguard the 1 million New Jersey jobs directly or indirectly supported by trade, but also bring key elements of NAFTA into the 21st century, particularly around the digital economy and worker and environmental protections,” he wrote in the op-ed.

In addition to maintaining access to two vital markets, USMCA will also establishes modern, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards that are the strongest achieved in any trade agreement. It also provides transparency and information sharing on measures impacting trade in biotechnology products.

Across the country, the U.S. business and manufacturing communities are rallying together to make the case for USMCA approval. More than 400 companies and associations from every sector of the economy have banded together to form the USMCA Coalition in an effort to urge Congress to pass it.

The case for the agreement’s approval is strong and the voices supporting its passage are growing stronger. Join us as we urge Congress to approve USMCA as soon as possible.

About the authors

Jared Levinson

Jared Levinson is former intern for the Strategic Communications team at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.