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GLMCC Supports Passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

The Great Lakes region – comprised of eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces – is a $6 trillion economy. The region is responsible for more than 50 percent of the goods transported across the northern border, making it a critical connecting point for U.S. trade and the rest of the world.

That is why we – the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition – support passage of the United States Mexico Canada (USMCA) trade agreement. The USMCA essentially modernizes NAFTA to be more compatible with the economic environment of today. The most prominent features of the new trade deal include higher thresholds for automotive rules of origin and exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs for Mexico and Canada. A new “sunset” mechanism also is proposed, meaning the USMCA would have a 16-year term and be reviewed for renewal every six years.

Our coalition represents more than 60,000 businesses across the Great Lakes states and our members have made clear that trade policies must 1) do no harm to U.S. companies that do business with the rest of the world, and 2) maintain and build on the strong relationships that we have with trading partners, like Canada and Mexico. We believe that passage of the USMCA is essential to preserving a strong partnership with both countries.

The Great Lakes region relies on a robust and vital cross border economy. Our partners at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, for example, are key economic development players in a region that is an international gateway to Canada. The state of New York exports some $19 billion in goods and services to Canada and over 680,000 jobs depend on that trade and investment. Many more examples exist across the Great Lakes states, making a strong trade deal critically important to preserve and strengthen ties with important partners like Mexico and Canada.

With limited time this year to act, we call on our Great Lakes congressional delegation to support a House floor vote on the new trade deal. We must move forward with a robust, modernized trade policy that allows our companies to grow, creates jobs, and builds on our region’s economic strength.