by Zachary Friend
Intern, Strategic Communications
November 13, 2019
As the days Congress is in session this year dwindle, the business and agriculture communities are eagerly waiting whether the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will be approved before the end of the year. Passage of USMCA is integral to the economic health of the U.S. Why? Because Canada and Mexico now constitute the nations’ two largest export markets, as well as two of its top three trading partners. In 2018, trade with the two countries reached nearly $1.4 trillion, and this economic activity supports an estimated 12 million American jobs.
But, how will the USMCA prove beneficial for New Hampshire specifically?
New Hampshire’s agricultural and manufacturing markets stand to benefit significantly from removed barriers to commerce outlined within the new trade deal. Last year, New Hampshire exported more than $1.4 billion of goods and services to Canada and Mexico, and this sum is bound to rise with approval of USMCA.
Of that total, $76 million worth of New Hampshire agriculture goods are exported to Canada and Mexico every year, and the removed barriers to both the dairy and poultry markets offer ample room for growth in the agricultural sector, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The manufacturing sector in New Hampshire also stands to benefit from USMCA. Canada and Mexico are the second and fourth top export markets, respectively, for New Hampshire’s manufactured goods exports, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
Jack Gilchrist, president of New Hampshire-based manufacturing firm Gilchrist Metal Fabricating Co., Inc., noted the importance of USMCA for New Hampshire’s manufacturing sector and urged Congress to ratify the agreement as fast as possible in an op-ed he wrote for The Telegraph in June.
“According to a recent analysis by the U.S. International Trade Commission, the USMCA would create 176,000 American jobs and contribute over $68 billion to our economy. And much of this economic momentum would make its way to New Hampshire, boosting our businesses, raising wages and creating new, well-paying jobs,” Gilchrist said.
“The fate of the USMCA in the United States currently lies in Congress, where lawmakers continue to consider the details of the agreement. However, without the passage of the USMCA and a robust trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, manufacturers across New Hampshire and the United States would stand to face potentially staggering tax increases from higher tariffs, resulting in a loss of sales, fewer jobs, and businesses fleeing to other countries,” he continued.
Evan Smith, president and CEO of Hypertherm, a manufacturer in Hanover, New Hampshire, recently wrote an op-ed for New Hampshire’s Business and Industry Association on the importance of USMCA for the state’s manufacturing sector.
“Today one out of four New Hampshire manufacturing firms do business in Canada and Mexico. Seventy-four percent are small- and medium-sized businesses. In total, there are more than 3,500 jobs in the state that are dependent on North American exports. These are jobs that are typically full time, pay higher-than-average wages, and offer real career opportunities,” he wrote.
New Hampshire’s top three exports to Canada
- Nuclear Reactors, Boilers, Machinery Etc.; Parts
- Electric Machinery Etc; Sound Equip; Tv Equip; Pts
- Aircraft, Spacecraft, And Parts Thereof
New Hampshire’s top three exports to Mexico
- Electrical Machinery and Equipment and Parts
- Boilers, Machinery, and Electrical Appliances and Parts
- Optical, Photographic, Measuring, and Medical Instruments
Furthermore, 54,600 New Hampshire jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico. But it's not just New Hampshire that is urging approval of the new trade agreement – New England as a whole has a lot to gain from USMCA.
James T. Brett, president and CEO of The New England Council, a non-partisan alliance of businesses and organizations dedicated to promoting economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region, recently detailed the significance of USMCA for New Englanders in an article for MassLive.com.
“The six states that comprise our region exported almost $8.8 billion in goods to Canada last year and another $4.2 billion to Mexico. More than 470,000 New England jobs depend on trade with Canada alone,” Brett said.
Given these sector-by-sector opportunities for growth USMCA offers, it’s time to pass the trade agreement that could further benefit New Hampshire – and New England – businesses, workers, and families.
To learn more about USMCA and its benefits for American businesses and workers, visit here.
About the author
Intern, Strategic Communications
Zachary Friend is a senior studying Political Science and International Affairs at The George Washington University.