The NAM met with North American trade ministers last week in Cancun, Mexico, where it urged them to take up key trade priorities for manufacturers.
What happened: The NAM led a delegation from the American business community, which participated in a roundtable discussion ahead of the third United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement “Free Trade Commission” on July 7 in Cancun.
- Attendees at the roundtable event included NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng, Mexican Secretary of the Economy Raquel Buenrostro and business executives from the three countries, including Rockwell Automation Chairman and CEO Blake Moret.
Shared values: The NAM underscored the importance of an investment climate underpinned by core democratic principles, such as transparency and the rule of law.
- “We believe in democracy,” Timmons said. “However imperfect, this system fosters free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity. These values make manufacturing strong in our countries.”
- He added that each year North American manufacturers contribute $3 trillion to the U.S., Canadian and Mexican economies.
What must be done: Though the USMCA already creates advantages for North American manufacturers, the agreement’s full potential can only be realized if the three countries work together to address certain key challenges, Timmons told the attendees. Some of the main hurdles include:
- Mexico’s power-generation policies, which have long favored Mexican state-owned energy companies and led to higher bills for manufacturers that must use existing energy-supply contracts;
- Permitting delays for U.S. projects in Mexico that undercut American firms and reduce energy supply to North American manufacturers and consumers;
- Mexico’s expanded food-labeling requirements and bans on the sale of some U.S. foods and nonalcoholic beverages to minors, which unjustly restrict U.S. exports;
- High spectrum fees in Mexico that deter telecommunications competition, as well as the country’s weak patent enforcement, delayed approvals of pharmaceuticals and bans on certain chemicals and genetically modified corn; and
- Delays in the reform of Canada’s patent system, ongoing restrictions in Canada’s dairy market, a Canadian government proposal to brand “plastic manufactured items” as “toxic substances” and a change to Quebec packaging and labeling requirements that will upend decades of intellectual property law and could limit access to the Quebec market.
The last word: “Ensuring North American economic integration and regional competitiveness will require a multipronged effort that focuses on robust implementation of the USMCA, ensuring a competitive North American energy market and providing support for the manufacturing workforce across the region, among other key elements,” said NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Ken Monahan, who joined Timmons in Cancun.
- “The NAM has positioned itself as a leading U.S. business organization on North American trade and economic matters, and we look forward to continuing to engage with our member companies on these issues going forward.”
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