As Mexico and Canada move to approve the USMCA we urge our federal representatives in Congress to support and approve this crucial trade agreement.
This agreement will improve our existing free trade agreement between our Northern and Southern neighbors, which has not been significantly changed since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1990’s. When NAFTA was passed Google wasn’t even a twinkle in its founders’ eyes, that is how outdated our trade agreement is.
Not only will the USMCA improve American competitiveness, it will lower the cost of doing business by easing the movement of goods and services, the hallmark of a successful economy. Manufacturers and farmers will especially be positively impacted by the increased access to markets and materials. Additionally, the strengthening of intellectual property and e-commerce protections will affect all businesses.
This issue is important to Maryland, which exported more than $1.6 billion worth of goods to Canada in 2018. In fact, Canada is Maryland’s largest trading partner and is responsible for 14 percent of our total yearly exports. Mexico is our ninth largest trading partner, with 3.5 percent of exports heading south.
Maryland businesses need this agreement – more than 6,000 small and medium sized businesses export their products across international borders. Without the USMCA, these businesses will lose access to markets, costing revenues and jobs. Currently, Maryland’s export and import market supports more than 45,000 jobs directly and hundreds of thousands of jobs indirectly; the USMCA aims to increase these numbers.
While we continue to meet with our federal representatives and press for their support and inform our business members about the crucial need for this legislation to be passed, we are calling on you to contact your Members of Congress and tell them to support the USMCA for the good of Maryland.
To find out more, check out the National Association of Manufacturers fact sheet.
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce is a proud member of the USMCA Coalition.