If you saw our October Free Market Minute video, you know the Ohio Chamber has been lending its support to efforts to push the U.S. Congress to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.
USMCA was negotiated by the three countries as an updated replacement to the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, better known as NAFTA. After two-plus decades, there are things in need of modernization and there are things that weren’t part of the original deal that need to be addressed.
Part of our efforts included joining with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 40 other state chambers, and hundreds of other business associations and local chambers of commerce across the country to urge Congress to put politics aside and approve the pact this fall.
This week, by passing Senate Resolution 376, the Ohio Senate joined the Ohio Chamber in going on record urging Congress to ratify USMCA. The Senate approved SR 376, 22-9. Prior to SR 376 being voted on, the Ohio Chamber testified in support of the resolution in front of the Senate Transportation, Commerce & Workforce Committee.
Our message was simple: Ohio has benefited immensely from NAFTA and, as a result of the negotiated updates reflected in the USMCA, it has the potential to be an even more beneficial agreement. It will preserve jobs in the industrial and agricultural sectors, add protections for intellectual property rights, and cut red tape that will aid a range of small businesses and innovators in Ohio. Additionally, businesses whose bottom lines rely on E-commerce are going to have even more access to Canada and Mexico, thanks to the agreement’s new digital economy provisions.
Businesses large and small stand only to gain from USMCA. In short, you can’t be pro-business and anti-USMCA.