NAFTA 2.0 on Congressional Agenda

NAFTA 2.0 on Congressional Agenda

This piece was originally published in the September/October 2019 issue of electroindustry.

Craig Updyke, Director, Trade and Commercial Affairs, NEMA

As you read this, Congress should be moving forward with approval of legislation to implement the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), negotiated by the Administration with our neighbors and partners in 2018 to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Building on NAFTA, the USMCA contains a series of market access and cost-savings benefits for the U.S. electroindustry. (See related article on USMCA-driven harmonization of energy conservation Standards for electrical products.)

In early summer, NEMA made its long-held position public that Congress should pass USMCA as soon as possible. NEMA Members also received a toolkit to help them understand USMCA and communicate with their elected representatives.

On July 23, NEMA joined more than 600 trade organizations in writing to all Members of Congress urging support. NEMA is meeting with many Capitol Hill offices that represent locations of NEMA Member company facilities and employees.

Following several months of discussions, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and key Members of the House of Representatives may reach compromises in September that will open the door to bipartisan approval of USMCA by October. While Mexico approved USMCA in June, Canada has federal elections in October and is closely watching U.S. developments. Once all three countries have approved USMCA, the agreement could go into force in as few as 60 days. ei

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