- The US, Mexico, Canada Agreement, or USMCA, is a critical update to the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.
- The USMCA would help boost the US economy, as well as ensure access for American businesses into the Canadian and Mexican markets.
- It is time for Congress to ratify the USMCA and help protect America’s innovation economy.
- Mike Roman is the Chairman and CEO of 3M, a a $US33 billion science-based company with products in fields covering industry, worker safety, health care, and consumer goods.
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Many American businesses, both small and large, are driven by innovation.
The original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – the US, Canada, and Mexico’s economic agreement – played an important role in fostering a US economy driven by this innovative spirit. NAFTA integrated North American supply chains and made US companies and products globally competitive.
However, our economy has changed since NAFTA was originally signed 25 years ago. It is critical that Congress ratifies the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the revised version of NAFTA, to modernise the trade deal and create new opportunities for US companies and American workers.
The USMCA is good for American workers and businesses
3M has also evolved significantly in 25 years.
Today, we are focused on applying science to improve the daily lives of our customers through innovative products including life-saving safety equipment; lightweight yet high-strength materials in autos and aeroplanes; next-generation components in smartphones and other electronic devices; and advanced wound care therapies – the very same products for which the USMCA is designed to streamline standards and boost trade.
Beyond our company, the USMCA is also critical for the entire US manufacturing sector. Millions of high-paying American jobs are tied to manufacturing exports to Mexico and Canada, which combined purchase one-fifth of US manufacturing output.
3M’s home state of Minnesota exports $US7.2 billion annually to Canada and Mexico, and these sales create jobs for over 300,000 people across the state, allowing families to live and work in the state.
The USMCA includes a number of provisions that are necessary to continue the growth of our country’s innovation economy, including increasing access to Canadian and Mexican markets for US manufacturers, lowering non-tariff barriers, enhancing regulatory cooperation, and creating a level playing field for American workers.
Most importantly, the updated trade agreement will provide best-in-class intellectual property rules, ensuring that American businesses can sell their goods abroad without fear of losing their competitive edge, thus protecting valuable American jobs. Additionally, the USMCA will create rules to facilitate and govern the flow of data, which has become the fuel of the US innovation engine.
Congress should move forward with the USMCA
We have closely watched the negotiation and now the ratification process of the USMCA. We applaud the intensive work that House Democrats and the US Trade Representative are doing to reach a bipartisan agreement on how to advance this trade agreement, which will power the growth of the American economy and create high-paying US jobs for the 21st century.
While the provisions outlined above are critical for supporting the American innovation workforce for decades to come, it is equally important that these rules can be enforced to protect the value of the quality products our employees proudly produce here. I hope we will see both sides reach a resolution and ratify this agreement before the end of the year.
With the ratification of the USMCA, 3M and other iconic American companies will be strongly positioned to continue to invest in research efforts and scientific advancements that will power the economy into the future, ultimately energising growth, creating jobs here at home, and improving standards of living for people everywhere.