Last week, the NC Chamber called upon the North Carolina congressional delegation to support the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
If ratified, USMCA will preserve our critically important trade relationships with North Carolina’s top two trading partners. In addition to provisions that expand access for trade between our countries and level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers, the USMCA also includes strengthened and modernized intellectual property protections, strong country of origin rules for cars and trucks, strict labor and environmental standards and a 16-year sunset clause. Read more about the deal from the National Association of Manufacturers here.
The trade relationship between our countries plays a major role in North Carolina’s economic health and prosperity, and the numbers are striking. Out of the 470,000 manufacturing jobs in North Carolina, 32,000 of those jobs depend directly on trade with these countries. One in every five North Carolina manufacturers export to these countries, and one-third of North Carolina’s global exports are directed to Mexico and Canada, totaling $10 billion in 2018.
You can read our full letter to the congressional delegation here or below. The NC Chamber will continue to advocate for North Carolina’s manufacturers in Raleigh and Washington so this industry can keep thriving and creating good-paying jobs.
Gary J. Salamido
Chief Operating Officer and Acting President
Dear Members of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation,
On behalf of our members in North Carolina’s thriving manufacturing industry and the 470,000 jobs it supports, the NC Chamber urges you to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that could soon be up for consideration by Congress.
Manufacturers believe that passage of the USMCA is critical to the continued success of the manufacturing industry and the jobs it supports in North Carolina. Now that the administration has sent final implementing language for the USMCA to Capitol Hill, it is time for Congress to approve the agreement as expeditiously as possible.
Our state’s trade relationships with Canada and Mexico play a major role in North Carolina’s economic health and prosperity. These two countries are our top two trading partners: North Carolina manufacturers sold $10 billion in manufactured goods to Canada and Mexico in 2018, nearly one-third of our state’s global manufacturing exports. One out of five manufacturers in North Carolina export to these countries, 73 percent of which are small- or medium-sized businesses.
The jobs of more than two million American manufacturing workers depend on exports to Canada and Mexico, including nearly 32,000 North Carolinian workers whose jobs depend directly on exports to these two countries. Manufacturers across the United States cannot afford to lose access to important markets in Canada and Mexico, which, together, purchase more U.S.-made goods than our next 10 trading partners combined.
Our organization and manufacturers across North Carolina stand ready to discuss at your convenience why passing the USMCA is so important to our state. We would welcome an opportunity for you to hear directly from manufacturing leaders and workers back home about why the USMCA is so important to manufacturing and the well-paying jobs that our industry provides.
Thank you for your time and consideration.