November 11, 2019

Week Of Action On USMCA: Tell U.S. Lawmakers How You Feel

This week, on Wednesday, November 13, the National Association of Manufacturers and the USMCA Coalition, which MSCI is a member of, will carry out a day of action in support of the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA). Individuals and organizations that support the trade pact are asked to do two things:

  • Sign a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to approve the deal. (Click here to view and sign the letter.)
  • Post on social media in support of the agreement using the hashtag #USMCANow and this image. (Click here for information about the USMCA that could be used in social media posts.)

MSCI urges its members to participate in this day of action because, as we argued comments submitted to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in June 2017, the trading relationship between the United States, Canada, and Mexico “has contributed mightily” to the individual economies of the three countries and to the industrial metals supply chain. Specifically, about 48 percent of U.S. manufactured goods imports from Canada and 40 percent of U.S. manufactured goods imports from Mexico were categorized as intermediate goods, parts and components in 2015. MSCI said “Trade in these intermediate goods has helped manufacturers in the United States improve their global competitiveness and grow domestic manufacturing with end products sold both in the United States and overseas.”

As the USMCA Coalition explains on its website, the USMCA will preserve and strengthen the benefits of North American trade for U.S. and Canadian workers, businesses, and consumers.

The day of action comes at an important time. Last week, the leaders of 12 labor unions wrote to members of U.S. House of Representatives urging them to vote against the USMCA unless alterations are made to the agreement. According to Politico, the letter said, “The House should not bring NAFTA 2.0 to the floor before it is significantly improved and reflects our core recommendations …” The unions said they want “detailed improvements,” including a “structurally sound” enforcement mechanism and for Mexico to provide adequate resources to administer a “comprehensive program of labor inspections.”

Top Democrats in the U.S. House are still trying to address those concerns, but those officials also continue to express optimism that the chamber eventually will approve the USMCA. Indeed, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last Wednesday. Rep. Neal reported to the prime minister USMCA talks in Congress are almost done. In an interview after the meeting he said, “We think on USMCA we’re very close, but we need some guarantees as it relates not just in Canada, but also their help with labor enforcement as it relates to Mexico.” House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), meanwhile, believes the U.S. House could vote on the agreement soon. In an interview, Rep. Peterson said Chair Neal is “pushing hard” and said he could schedule a vote on the agreement this week or next.