WASHINGTON -- Heritage President Kay Coles James released the following statement on the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA):
After much delay, it is time for Congress to act on the USMCA. The USMCA represents an opportunity for economic growth for America.
Conclusion of the USMCA negotiations will allow American manufacturers and investors to move forward with increased confidence in a positive business climate. Freer and more open trade puts American families, businesses, workers, and farmers first by reducing prices on goods, increasing exports to our neighbors and the world, and creating more and higher paying jobs as a result of increased economic activity.
The USMCA continues NAFTA’s tariff-free treatment of many goods and services but also opens up new markets for American farmers to sell their goods. It also strengthens protections for intellectual property rights, which promote more innovation and the creation of new products.
This is not an ideal free-trade agreement because it contains labor, environmental, and other provisions that actually create barriers to trade and increase the costs of goods. For this reason, USMCA should not be considered a model for future agreements. Free trade agreements should focus more narrowly on facilitating free trade and liberalizing markets. However, the effect of these extra provisions doesn’t outweigh the fact that the overall agreement remains in the best interest of the American people, and the agreement should move forward.