Oct 07, 2019 - 9:00am

It’s Crunch Time on USMCA


Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

This is a critical time for our economy. While employment and wage growth are up, manufacturing and business investment are down. To keep our economy growing, our nation’s leaders must take decisive action to restore certainty and boost business confidence. They can start by passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. 

Too much is at stake to let the window of opportunity close on USMCA. Mexico and Canada are by far our largest trading partners, with commerce between our countries supporting 12 million American jobs. This agreement will help sustain these jobs, in addition to strengthening agriculture, growing the digital economy, and protecting intellectual property. Businesses of every size, sector, and region are counting on Washington to do the right thing, which is why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is urging Congress to approve USMCA before Thanksgiving. A delay beyond that date risks this priority becoming entangled in election-year politics.

But what about impeachment? It’s the elephant in the room. However, it also ups the ante for legislators to show they can deliver wins for the economy. That’s why we commend lawmakers who are pressing forward on USMCA, even amidst all the acrimony.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already demonstrated her leadership and commitment to the legislation. After answering numerous questions on the impeachment inquiry at a national press conference last month, she refocused the media’s attention on policy matters by announcing her intentions to move ahead on USMCA. Shortly thereafter, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal urged other members of the Democratic Caucus to “proceed with optimism” on the agreement. For their part, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal calling for swift approval of the deal.

With these bipartisan expressions of support, now is the time to go all in on USMCA. To get this historic agreement across the finish line, the Chamber has launched an aggressive advertising campaign in a dozen House districts calling for immediate action in Congress. We are also urging members of Congress to push our USMCA Now! initiative on social media and meet with local businesses and chambers of commerce during the October recess to understand why it is crucial that Congress approve the deal without delay.

No matter the political chaos in Washington, the Chamber will continue to be a strong, clear, and consistent voice on USMCA. Our economy cannot afford to see enactment of this trade pact fall by the wayside. We call on leaders of both parties to do what’s right for American businesses by passing USMCA before Thanksgiving.

About the Author

About the Author

Thomas J. Donohue
Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Thomas J. Donohue is chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.