Zachary Friend
Former Intern, Strategic Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


October 25, 2019


This fall Congress is edging closer to possible passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a modern trade agreement that maintains crucial export market access for American farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses. Canada and Mexico now constitute the nations’ two largest export markets, as well as two of its’ top three aggregate 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 Minnesota specifically?

North American trade impacts multiple sectors of Minnesota’s economy, but the agreement is particularly important for the state’s agricultural and manufacturing markets. Last year, Minnesota exported over $4.8 billion worth of goods alone to Canada and nearly $2.4 billion to Mexico, according to the according to the U.S. Trade Representative. USMCA aims to increase this volume of trade as the deal eliminates several barriers facing U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue noted the benefits of these changes for Minnesota farmers and ranchers in an August op-ed published in the Redwood Falls Gazette. “USMCA will provide Minnesota producers significantly better market access for dairy, poultry and eggs, sending more products out the door and bringing home more dollars for our hard-working farmers,” he wrote.

The manufacturing market in Minnesota is also positioned to grow in the wake of the potential USMCA passage. U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-08) addressed the importance of the deal for the state’s manufacturing and agriculture sectors in a letter he and his fellow colleagues, U.S. Reps. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01) and Tom Emmer (MN-06), sent to President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in June.

“Fifty-one percent of Minnesota’s total agriculture and agri-food exports flow to Canada and Mexico. In addition to agriculture, the machinery, manufacturing, medical, and mining industries account for the vast majority of Minnesota’s North American exports,” they wrote in the letter.

It should come as no surprise that Canada and Mexico are the number one and two foreign destinations for Minnesota’s exports. Purchased manufacturing goods included boilers, machinery, electrical appliances and numerous other items. USMCA has removed further barriers to trade and the deal guarantees that nearly all U.S. exports will enter these markets tariff-free.

Minnesota’s top three exports to Canada

  • Vehicles, Except Railway Or Tramway, And Parts Etc
  • Nuclear Reactors, Boilers, Machinery Etc.; Parts
  • Ores, Slag And Ash

Minnesota’s top three exports to Mexico

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

Furthermore, out of the 12 million American jobs supported by trade with Canada and Mexico, nearly 233,800 of those currently exist in Minnesota. Given these sector-by-sector opportunities for growth USMCA offers, it’s time to pass the trade agreement that could further benefit Minnesota businesses, workers, and families.

To learn more about USMCA and its benefits for American businesses and workers, visit here.

About the authors

Zachary Friend

Zachary Friend is a former intern working with the Strategic Communications division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.