The senior vice president of government relations for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) would greatly benefit the Grand Canyon State.
“Mexico is already the state’s No. 1 trading partner, and Canada is Arizona’s No. 1 source of foreign investment,” Garrick Taylor told Arizona Business Daily. “The USMCA, combined with Arizona’s existing pro-business environment, has the state positioned to grow the over 200,000 jobs that depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.”
The new agreement, which will take effect in 2020 and be reviewed every six years before expiring in 2036 or extended to 2052, will change the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The “USMCA and its Impact on Arizona,” a report by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Chamber Foundation and the Arizona Mexico Commission, shows Congress should act swiftly to adopt the trade agreement that promises to advance the North American trade policy into the 21st century, according to Taylor.
He said settling trade agreements sooner than later is critical since businesses crave certainty.
“Job creators looking to make investments want to do so with some measure of predictability, which means that businesses involved in buying and selling beyond U.S. borders want certainty that that trade can be conducted tariff-free,” he added.
The National Association of Manufacturers reports the goods from Arizona exported to Canada and Mexico totaled $7.8 billion in 2018. In 2017, Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale exported $3.02 billion to Mexico, Arizona Business Daily previously reported.
“Threats of new tariffs can be terribly disruptive. New tariffs increase costs to manufacturers, cause prices to rise for consumers, and inject uncertainty into the economy,” Taylor said.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Vincent "Zippy" Duvall has asked members to let their elected legislators in Washington know of the importance of the USMCA to American farming.
“The USMCA is also important in setting the stage for other modern trade agreements for U.S. agriculture,” Duvall said on the organization's website. “NAFTA needed to be modernized, and the USMCA has bells and whistles that we don’t have under our existing trade agreements.”
Taylor said that threats from the White House that could change costs to businesses make planning for the future challenging.
“There are real issues with China, like theft of intellectual property, that need to be properly dealt with, but we shouldn’t risk our close economic ties with Canada and Mexico, our friends, neighbors and allies,” he said.