GLMCC Supports Passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

DETROIT, Aug. 13, 2019 – The Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition (GLMCC) calls for passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), after careful vetting with coalition members.

The USMCA essentially modernizes NAFTA to be more compatible with the economic environment of the present. It is especially crucial for the Great Lakes region that North American countries maintain strong trade relationships. Eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces make up the region and are responsible for 50 percent of the goods transported across the northern border, making it a $6 trillion economy.

The Great Lakes region has considerable impact on North American trade with the rest of the world,” said Dottie Gallagher, president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “Free and balanced trade with Canada and Mexico is an essential component to building strong economies in the communities throughout the Great Lakes region.”

North American trade supports 12 million U.S. jobs, and the GLMCC recognizes the absolute necessity of preserving those positions. GLMCC has long held a “do no harm” position on any trade policy. In this case, upholding that policy prompts urging the Trump Administration and Congress to approve the USMCA.

“Facilitating secure and mutually beneficial trading between the U.S., Canada and Mexico continues to be a priority for our region,” said Joe Roman, president and CEO of Greater Cleveland Partnership, “Passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is essential to maintain strong relationships with both countries.”

The legislatures of all three countries involved in the USMCA must approve the changes before it can be implemented. Mexico was the first do so in June 2019. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made efforts to have discussions with President Trump concerning the deal. The Trump Administration is set on passing the USMCA with Congress this year.

The most prominent features of the USMCA include higher thresholds for automotive rules of origin and exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs for Mexico and Canada. A new “sunset” mechanism also is proposed, meaning the USMCA would have a 16-year term and be reviewed for renewal every six years.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, please contact Sarah Johnson at sjohnson@gcpartnership.com or 216-592-2283, or visit www.greatlakesmetrochambers.com.

ABOUT THE GLMCC: The Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition is a collective of chambers of commerce across the Great Lakes region that jointly advocates on core policy issues, including water quality, immigration reform, trade, transportation, and infrastructure. Since its founding in 2008, the coalition has become a leading and effective voice on federal policy impacting the Great Lakes region.

 

Great Lakes Metro Chambers Advocate for Infrastructure Funding, Trade and Immigration Policy Reform

The Chamber, along with members of the GreatGLMCC trip to DC Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, met with members of Congress and their staff during a two-day legislative fly-in to Washington, D.C. last week to discuss key issues important to the business future of the Great Lakes/Midwest region.

More than 50 meetings were held with key members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, House Ways and Means Committee member; U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, chairman of the House Small Business Committee; U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, House Transportation Committee chairman; and U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.

Coalition members expressed their support for infrastructure legislation and funding for infrastructure projects for the Great Lakes region. Discussion also focused on H-1B visa reform to encourage more high-skilled immigrant workers, and building a strong trade relationship with Canada as necessary to the economic growth of the region. In addition, Coalition members emphasized the importance of comprehensive energy policy.

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) joined the fly-in participants and discussed his role as chairman of the US-Canada Interparliamentary Group as well as the general atmosphere in Congress since the presidential election. His comments to the group echoed the message from several lawmakers — infrastructure, immigration reform, and trade are priorities, but when and how they will be addressed remains uncertain.

For more information on the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, visit http://greatlakesmetrochambers.com.