Oct 09 2018
Trump Administration Secures Deal to Replace NAFTA
Besides being our North American neighbors, Canada and Mexico are two of the largest international markets for products made in Mississippi. These export markets, as well as others around the world, are a significant generator of jobs and economic growth in our state. According to the most recent numbers available, Mississippi exports were directly responsible for more than 51,000 jobs. Last year, the value of these goods totaled $11 billion.
As the world grows more connected, it is important to get America’s trade deals right. President Trump has made it a priority to ensure that U.S. businesses and American workers are not hurt by unfair trade practices. His campaign promise to redo the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a bold effort to fix the shortcomings of the 24-year-old deal. After more than a year of negotiations, the President has delivered results.
Gains for U.S. Agriculture, Manufacturing
The new pact, formally titled the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), still needs to be ratified by all three countries. In the United States, Congress will have an opportunity to approve the agreement. I will continue to take a close look at USMCA and work with Mississippians to ensure the agreement maximizes our state’s potential.
So far, there seems to be plenty in the deal that lawmakers from both political parties should like. Overall, a strong trilateral agreement with our North American partners offers certainty to farmers and manufacturers, reaffirming the United States as a place for business investment and job creation. More specifically, USMCA would encourage the domestic production of automobiles and auto parts. It would give U.S. farmers greater access to Canadian markets, making sales of American-made dairy, eggs, and poultry more competitive there.
Additionally, U.S. innovators – who continue to seek solutions for the world’s most pressing problems – would have more protections over their intellectual property, thanks to the deal’s extension of copyrights and patents. USMCA addresses digital trade and online purchases, recognizing the sharp growth of the Internet economy since the terms of NAFTA were set in 1994.
Safeguards on U.S. Intellectual Property
When it comes to protecting America’s trade interests, the Trump Administration’s tough stance extends far beyond this continent. The President has not shied away from confronting China about the stealing of U.S. intellectual property. In late March of this year, the United States Trade Representative released the findings from its investigation on these dishonest trade practices. The report estimated that China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property could cost as much as $600 billion annually. Such practices are unacceptable, and USMCA is a signal to China that the Administration is committed to safeguarding American ingenuity.
After a slow economic recovery, Americans are finally witnessing positive economic growth and low unemployment. Keeping “Made in America” goods and services competitive in world markets can help advance these encouraging trends even further. USMCA is a welcome step toward modern, equitable trade deals for our farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and innovators.