This story was originally published on the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s blog on April 23, 2019.


By Todd Sanders, Greater Phoenix Chamber President and CEO

Approximately seven months ago, the United States, Mexico, and Canada agreed to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The time has come for Congress to ratify the agreement.

The USMCA was crafted as a replacement and update to NAFTA, which has been an essential component of our economy’s growth. According to the Arizona Chamber Foundation’s report “The USMCA and its Impact on Arizona” stated that in 2018 Arizona exported $20.4 billion worth of goods to USMCA markets.

Thanks to NAFTA, Arizona enjoys a large trade surplus with one of our most trusted trade partners and our neighbors—Mexico. Arizona businesses export $9.1 billion in goods and importing only $7.6 billion. In addition to that, Canada accounted for approximately $2.1 billion in exports in 2016.

Establishing a new, modern trade agreement with the two countries that share our nation’s border is vital to not only Arizona’s success but that of our country.

The agreement enables more than $1.2 trillion in trade between the U.S., Canada, and Arizona’s leading trade partner, Mexico, to continue.

The USMCA addresses several existing issues and stands to help Arizona businesses increase their competitiveness and exports to our key trading partners. Specifically, the USMCA preserves or expands key components such as businesses visas, digital trade, agriculture, and cybersecurity, and stronger intellectual property protections. All of which are needed to modernize trade deals to ensure that those deals work for businesses in the 21st century.

The USMCA is an important agreement for Arizonan employers and businesses. Currently, more than 220,000 Arizona jobs are supported by trade with Mexico and Canada.

Later today, the Greater Phoenix Chamber is proudly hosting Senator Kyrsten Sinema for an intimate discussion with our members about Congress, what’s happening in D.C., and how Arizona business leaders can make their voices heard.

During her visit with our members, I look forward to hearing her thoughts on the future of USMCA and how business leaders can help move the needle on this important issue.

It’s vital that we work with our congressional delegates and federal leaders to encourage them to support the ratification of the USMCA. Arizona businesses and jobs depend on a clear and beneficial trade agreement with our biggest trading partners.

I urge you to join me in calling on our Congressional leaders to support this critical trade agreement to ensure that Arizona and the United States remain globally competitive in today’s rapidly changing economic landscape.