The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) gave a big thumb’s up recently when the House approved U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as significant achievement for enhancing the ability of America’s seaports to deliver jobs, economic opportunities, and efficient movement of goods and people.
America’s deep-draft seaports support employment of nearly 31 million American jobs, $378 billion in taxes and 26 percent of U.S. GDP.
According to AAPA president and CEO, Chris Connor, the new trade agreement that modernizes and addresses tariff schedules, commodity regulation, goods standards, manufacturing regional content requirements, digital trade and labor standards…all crucial for the continued flow of goods in the North American bloc.
“North American ports stand to benefit significantly from the increase in trade and travel between our three nations, and the certainty that the movement of goods and people won’t be hampered by unanticipated trade restrictions or tariffs,” he said.
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, together with Congressional Democrats, found a way to reach a compromise that has won the approval of organized labor who opposed trade deals for 25 years, noted the AAPA.
Connor observed that even despite significant national political changes in all three countries during the multi-year negotiation, a good deal was finally worked out.
The news was also greeted with enthusiasm by the industry groups in the state of Washington, home of the Northwest Seaport Alliance.
“The USMCA or the ‘new NAFTA’ is critical for Washington State’s interests and is a much-needed positive step in an otherwise uncertain trade environment,” said Lori Otto Punke, President, president of Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT).
Trade with Mexico and Canada currently accounts for 330,00 jobs across the State.
WCIT has been an active supporter of USMCA’s passage given the implications for Washington State trade and the interests of WCIT members. WCIT includes a diverse membership, including small and medium-sized companies, corporations and agriculture producers.
The Senate will take up the legislation in January.
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