TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Implementation Act,” which would strengthen trade ties that support millions of American jobs. The Chamber will include votes on this bill in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
The case for approval of this legislation is strong. First, it would strengthen U.S. trade ties with Canada and Mexico, which are by far our most important export markets. More than 12 million American jobs—in sectors from agriculture and manufacturing to services and technology—depend on trade with our two North American neighbors. They are also the top two export destinations for U.S. small and medium-size businesses, more than 120,000 of which sell their goods and services to Canada and Mexico. The new pact would guarantee that virtually all U.S. exports enter these markets tariff-free.
Second, USMCA would modernize North American trade rules. When the North American Free Trade Agreement was negotiated a quarter of a century ago, there was no e-commerce, to give one example; consequently, the agreement did not address this sector. While USMCA falls short in several areas—including in intellectual property, which should not be considered a template for future agreements—its updated rules on digital trade, non-tariff barriers, services, and other areas promise substantial benefits.
Third, USMCA would restore certainty to these vital trade relationships. Tariffs and the threat of tariffs—applied to steel and aluminum, autos and auto parts, or applied to pursue non-trade objectives—have imposed real costs on the U.S. economy and dampened investment. Enactment of this new trade agreement would turn the page on this chapter and afford the business community the confidence it needs to invest and hire.
Implementation of USMCA would be a boon to U.S. companies and the workers they employ as they compete in our top two export markets. We urge the Senate to approve USMCA expeditiously.
Suzanne P. Clark
U.S. Chamber of Commerce