The Importance of USMCA

Robert Voltmann
President & CEO
Transportation Intermediaries Association

The fundamentals of the United States’ economy are stronger than they have ever been, but as business professionals you all know to be wary of risks down the road. One of the top issues facing businesses, and the North American economy, is the critical importance of Congress approving the new USMCA trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

TIA members move thousands of loads across the northern and southern borders of the U.S. every day. They serve every sector of the North American economy, providing the needed expertise to source capacity, solve difficult supply chain challenges, and ensure that affordable goods are available to consumers in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico accounted for nearly $3.8 billion dollars every day last year, and supports 12 million American jobs. North American trade provides an outlet for one-third of all U.S. agricultural exports. U.S. manufacturers export more made-in-America manufactured goods to Canada and Mexico than they do to our next 11 largest export markets combined.

These statistics highlight simple truths: one cannot be pro-business and anti-North American trade. Bipartisan action is needed in Congress to approve the newly negotiated USMCA trade deal. Quick action on this agreement will provide business owners, workers, and consumers the certainty that they need to strengthen the U.S. economy. Nothing makes America greater than stronger North American trade.

The new USMCA agreement strengthens and updates the previous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was negotiated over a quarter-century ago when the economy moved more slowly, computers covered whole desks, and business was conducted by phone and fax. USMCA meets the challenges of an always-on digital economy that moves at the speed of light, includes important protections for digital services and intellectual property, and provides a framework for cooperation against cyber threats.

When Congress approves the new agreement, small businesses will be guaranteed market access to critically important trading partners. Digital innovators will be guaranteed stronger protections against counterfeiting and piracy. Modernized customs procedures will ensure the painless and speedy movement of goods across borders.

TIA knows that the economy is best served by lowering regulatory barriers and freeing marketplaces from red tape. Modernizing the old NAFTA agreement after a quarter century was critically important, and USMCA meets the needs of a modern digital economy. Your Association will work hard to support quick Congressional approval of USMCA to help the economy keep growing and create an environment where your businesses can flourish.