Last year, leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States came together to modernize the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. The result was the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA – a broad update that was agreed to in November 2018. Yet more than six months later the USMCA is still pending approval in Congress. Comprehensive new state-level data from the National Association of Manufacturers shows the USMCA’s positive impact, and manufacturers are voicing their support for this deal.
“The USMCA is about restoring certainty, improving the rule of law and expanding our partnerships with our most significant trade partners,” Linda Dempsey, NAM vice president of international economic affairs, said. “Not only will its ratification grant manufacturers the certainty they need to continue growing and creating jobs into the future, but it will also expand U.S. manufacturing access to Canada and Mexico and help level the playing field for American workers.”
As manufacturers’ most critical partners, Canada and Mexico purchase one-fifth of the total value of U.S. manufacturing output – more than the next 11 countries combined. These exports support about 2 million American manufacturing jobs and 40,000 small- and medium-sized businesses.
“Passage of this agreement is critical for U.S. manufacturing sector,” said Dempsey. “Canada and Mexico are manufacturers’ most important partners.”
The agreement promises stronger intellectual property rules to protect manufacturing inventions, setting new and improved standards for the digital economy. It expands U.S. manufacturing’s ability to export products abroad, ensuring manufacturers can sell their products duty free and eliminating red tape at the border that often hinders small- and medium-sized businesses seeking to sell their products in both Canada and Mexico. The USMCA also levels the playing field for U.S. manufacturers in critical ways by raising standards, improving transparency and prohibiting anti-U.S. discrimination from foreign governments. The benefits would extend to every state, offering communities across the country opportunities for growth.
With a push for action among policymakers and the public, manufacturers are asking Congress to ratify this agreement that improves trade relationships, strengthens the manufacturing sector and benefits the 12 million employees who work in the manufacturing industry.
“Without movement,” Dempsey said, “American manufacturing workers and communities are at risk.”
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