As our economy begins to rebound after being artificially interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, the boost this United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will provide to all sectors of our economy could not come at a better time.
The USMCA goes into effect today after years of hard-fought negotiation on the part of President Trump and Republicans in Congress.
The USMCA is a win for America with its potential to add over half a million jobs and increase economic activity by over $235 billion. Take for example Arizona. As a border state with an extensive trading relationship with both our neighbors to the north and the south Arizona will greatly benefit from this modernized, freer, and fairer trade agreement.
USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which was negotiated over a quarter century ago and was an example of ineffective trade policies from past administrations that led to an exodus of American jobs. The need to replace NAFTA to reflect changes in technology and commerce in the 21 st Century was long overdue.
USMCA will benefit Latino businesses. Again, looking at Arizona, where over 30 percent of the population is Latino. In 2019, Arizona exported $2.1 billion and $8.1 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico respectively, totaling over 40% of the state’s exports.
These figures are bound to only increase because of the USMCA going into effect today. Across our country, over 4.4 million businesses are owned by members of the Latino community contributing over $700 billion to our country’s economy. For Latino businesses USMCA increases the opportunities for their goods and services to access to international markets.
Arizona will not be the only state with an abundant Hispanic population that will experience the benefits of USMCA. Florida’s economy will grow as well. For the Sunshine state this is a step in the right direction after NAFTA’s effects. In 2019, Florida exported $4.3 billion and $3.3 billion to Canada and Mexico respectively, accounting for nearly 14% of their total exports.
The USMCA’s updated, stronger rules of origin for manufacturing standards, including in the auto industry, will help revitalize our manufacturing industry and bring back the very jobs President Obama forecasted would never come back.
For example, the rules requiring 75% of auto content to be made in North America, including 40-45% of auto content by workers making at least $16 an hour, are projected to result in up to 76,000 new jobs and could spur up to $34 billion in new investment for the auto industry alone. This possibility alone is a win.
President Trump has shown time and again that he has the political courage to walk away from a bad deal while also working tirelessly to get a good one done. On the other hand, Joe Biden voted for the job-killing NAFTA and to allow China to enter the World Trade Organization, a choice that led to thousands of factories shuttering and millions of Americans being shipped overseas.
Despite months of needless delay and obstruction from Democrats in Congress throughout the USMCA process, President Trump was able to deliver a better trade deal for America’s workers, farmers, and manufacturers alike.
President Trump promised free and fair trade and he delivered with USMCA. Members of the Latino community and all Americans will remember that it was President Trump who continually puts American jobs first.
Director of Hispanic Media for the Republican National Committee