October 21, 2019

MSCI Joins Organizations Across Industries To Support USMCA

Talks between the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the House Democrats’ Working Group on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) intensified last week, with multiple high-level meetings taking place now that the U.S. Congress is back in session.

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) agreed with a colleague that the talks are entering “the eighth inning.” According to Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) echoed those sentiments. She said, “I can honestly say that I think every day we’re becoming closer.”

Both Pelosi and Neal said enforcement of the labor and environmental provisions in the pact remains a concern, however, particularly whether Mexico would uphold its obligations under the deal.

To that end, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent a four-page letter to Chair Neal, pledging to allocate the necessary funding and do whatever is necessary to implement Mexico’s labor reforms as outlined in USMCA. According to Politico, Chair Neal called the letter a “significant step in the right direction” but maintained there is more work to be done on the issue.

To help move the pact forward in Congress, the Metals Service Center Institute joined more than 350 other organizations last week to send a letter supporting USMCA to members of Congress. The letter, which can be found here, was organized by the National Association of Manufacturers. Passing the USMCA, the letter explained, would spur economic growth and provide much-needed certainty for manufacturers across North America.

The signatories underscored the importance of provisions that strengthen and modernize America’s innovation engine through best-in-class intellectual property rules, expanding U.S. manufacturing access to Canada and Mexico by eliminating red tape at the border and leveling the playing field by raising standards, improving transparency and prohibiting both anti-U.S. discrimination and anti-competitive activity while providing the same binding enforcement for all obligations in the agreement.