Business leaders join forces to support USMCA; Mexico says metal tariffs must go

Canada and Mexico purchase one-fifth of the total value of U.S. manufacturing output, and together they purchase more U.S.-made goods than our next 10 trading partners combined. That’s why many companies and industry associations are putting their might behind the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA). In late February, more than 200 companies and associations – including NAFEM – formed the USMCA Coalition to advocate for congressional approval of the agreement. (See Partner Profile below).

At the same time, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) launched the Friends of Manufacturing site where people can easily send an email to their elected officials urging them to quickly consider the USMCA. NAFEM members are encouraged to visit the site to do so. A February 2017 Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) report found that 35 percent of congressional offices pay attention to fewer than 10 similar comments.

NAM also updated its one-page overview to help explain and advocate for the USMCA and hosts a bi-weekly USMCA Task Force call to update members on the status of the agreement. Click here to register.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador has told the country’s senators that before the USMCA can be considered for ratification by its Congress, the metal tariffs on imported steel and aluminum “must be eliminated” because they are “contrary to the productive integration of the North American market.” Additionally, Mexico’s Foreign Trade Undersecretary Luz Maria de la Mora told the Mexican Senate that the Secretariat of the Economy is preparing a new list of U.S. imported products to which tariffs of seven to 25 percent will apply. Already, reciprocal Mexican tariffs impact steel flats, pork, apples, some cheeses and bourbon.

Vox recently published an informative 500-word explanation of the USMCA.