Although the Democrats and Republicans don’t usually see eye to eye, this time both Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agree that the US Mexico Canada USMCA agreement should pass soon, meaning by the end of this year. While the Texas-sized understatement does not seem to reach on a compromise on many other political aspects, the USMCA issue is common to all: passing it as soon as possible. This goal is also shared by all Texans it seems.
The USMCA agreement also referred to as ”Nafta 2.0” has benefited the North American Free Trade Agreement over the last 25 years, but it has been especially good for Texas. Much of its success is due to trade, with Mexico and Canada being the United States’ top partners worldwide. Mexico alone accounted for nearly 35% of the goods shipped from Texas. These goods can include computers and electronics, as well as coal and petroleum, and machinery and transportation.
In the initial agreement back in 1993, protections of the environment and labor conditions were not included in it as binding obligations, when it is now supposed to be. Back then they had not been enforced and were rather simple ” recommendations” which could be bent according to the interests of the beholder.
One of Donald Trump’s first goals, when he entered the office, was to renegotiate the NAFTA. He wanted to modernize it and address certain aspects of the trade pact that according to him could have been improved and updated to offer U.S. workers, farmers, and manufacturers better working conditions. For over a year now, the three countries have been working on a new agreement in order to improve and also expand the terms of the original deal.
This time, both Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi saw eye to eye. The House of Congress is still tweaking and changing certain parts of the agreement but the hope is that it will be finalized in the next weeks, short of 2020. The important aspect is to know how the enforcement mechanisms would work on the ground.
Some worry that if it keeps being dragged out up until the coming election it will be delayed even more and create further complications. It is urgent to remember the value of the United States, Canada, and Mexico agreement: they create more jobs. Actually, in Texas alone, roughly 1 million jobs have been supported by their trade with Canada and Mexico. Also, small and medium-sized businesses, hundreds of them, have appeared thanks to the USMCA agreement. Statistics have found that 12 million jobs depend on trade with our neighbors both north and south.