Former Intern, Strategic Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
August 13, 2019
As Congress gears up to vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – business and government leaders in Arizona have been emphasizing the importance of a modern trade agreement for the state’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 Arizona?
Trade with Canada and Mexico supports 228,300 jobs based in Arizona. USMCA is crucial for success in Arizona’s manufacturing sector, which plays a key role in the state’s economy. Nationwide, U.S. manufacturers export more American-made goods to Canada and Mexico than to the next 11 largest export markets combined.
The Grand Canyon State relies on trade with Canada and Mexico for the health of its economy. The total value of Arizona exports sent to both countries was $11.3 billion last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The top export products included the following:
- Electric Machinery and Sound Equipment
- Nuclear Reactors and Boilers
- Edible Vegetables and Certain Roots
- Electrical Machinery and Equipment
- Ores, Slag, and Ash
- Boilers Machinery and Electrical Appliances
Arizona is a state deeply engaged in and reliant on international trade. Arizona Chamber Foundation CEO Emily Anne Gullickson outlined the benefits of the agreement to Chamber Business News.
“The latest trade figures tell the story of a state with an economy that is deeply integrated across international borders,” she said. “The adoption of USCMA will build on Arizona’s already-outstanding environment for business and will attract more investment in our state, creating new jobs and prosperity.”
USMCA would be a big win for small businesses in Arizona as well. Canada and Mexico are the top two export destinations for small and medium-size businesses in the U.S., more than 120,000 of which sell their goods and services to our North American neighbors.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey expressed his support for USMCA in a letter to Arizona’s Congressional members in February.
“While the North American Free Trade Agreement was a historic agreement and visionary for its time, it is nearly 25 years old. The business world has evolved tremendously during that time, but our trade policies have not kept up. As we seek to secure Arizona’s economic future, a strong trade deal with Mexico and Canada is crucial. I urge you to work with your colleagues in Congress to move towards ratification of the USMCA as quickly as possible,” he wrote.
In addition to maintaining access to two vital markets, USMCA will also establish the strongest, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards achieved in any trade agreement. It also provides transparency about measures impacting trade in biotechnology products.
Across the country, U.S. business and agriculture communities are rallying together to make the case for USMCA approval. More than 400 companies and associations from every sector of the economy banded together to form the USMCA Coalition to urge Congress to pass the legislation.
The case for USMCA’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 is former intern for the Strategic Communications team at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.