As Congress moves toward a bipartisan deal on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), manufacturers are urging lawmakers to pass the agreement. Designed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and agreed to last year by leaders from all three countries, the USMCA now awaits approval by Congress.
For companies like Memphis-based International Paper, the USMCA presents an opportunity to level the playing field with competitors around the world while providing benefits for Americans at home. According to the American Forest & Paper Association, U.S. pulp and paper exports to Canada and Mexico represented more than $10 billion in 2018, or about 45 percent of the industry’s total exports. Those exports to Canada and Mexico support an estimated 88,000 American jobs. Without the USMCA, that revenue—and those jobs—could be threatened.
“The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is critical for our company and our industry to compete in the international market,” said Mary M. Mann, Director of Government Relations and International Affairs at International Paper. “The agreement would protect open access for our industry’s exports to Canada and Mexico, promote sustainable forestry to combat illegal logging and support tens of thousands of jobs for hardworking Americans.”
For the Gowan Group of Companies, a family-owned business involved in agricultural inputs (including fertilizer, seed and crop protection products) headquartered in Yuma, Ariz., the USMCA would ensure economic certainty and continuity. Gowan’s sales within North America represent well over 50 percent of the company’s total sales, including substantial exports to Canada and Mexico. Tariff-free trade with Canada and Mexico supports jobs in Arizona, California, Texas and elsewhere in the United States.
“It is critical for Gowan and our ultimate customers – farmers – that products can flow throughout North America without delays, fees or other significant costs,” said Cindy Smith, Gowan’s Agricultural Relations Director. “Any delays or increased costs due to failure to pass the USMCA would damage our competitiveness and our ability to grow, add jobs, improve wages and invest in new products.”
“Manufacturers across America recognize the importance of updating our trade rules for a 21st-century economy,” said National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of International Economic Affairs Policy Linda Dempsey. “The USMCA has bipartisan support, and Congress should ratify the agreement immediately, providing certainty for American businesses to compete—and win—in the global economy.”
Despite representing less than 4 percent of the global economy, Canada and Mexico purchase more U.S.-manufactured goods than our next 11 trading partners combined. Exports to Canada and Mexico support 2 million manufacturing jobs and 40,000 small and medium-sized businesses across the United States. Comprehensive NAM data shows the USMCA’s positive impacts in every state.
If ratified, the agreement will expand U.S. exports, improve intellectual property protections and enforcement and level the playing field for U.S. workers. Manufacturers are urging quick passage of the USMCA to ensure their businesses can grow, compete globally and support millions of well-paying jobs.
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org