Hartzler Supports U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler issued the following statement in support of today’s vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):
“Today, I am pleased to finally vote for USMCA. This agreement, which has been held up for well over a year, is a win for Missourians and a win for all Americans, bringing 176,000 new jobs to the U.S. and spurring over $60 billion in new economic activity,” Hartzler said.
“At a time when many of our exporting businesses are facing uncertainty, the USMCA will expand access to critical markets in both Mexico and Canada. Our closest neighbors purchase more U.S.-made goods than our next 10 trading partners combined. The USMCA will further foster this continental relationship, ensuring a future of long-term growth for American businesses.
“Agriculture is our number one industry in Missouri. The USMCA is a big win for our farmers and ranchers by solidifying beneficial trade arrangements with Mexico and breaking down current trade barriers with Canada. For example, Canada will allow more of our dairy products into their country and begin to fairly grade our wheat exports. Increasing trade with these important partners will bring millions in new revenue to rural America while creating additional well-paying jobs in Missouri and throughout our country.
“The USMCA will not only help American farmers, but it will also be a powerful tool in the national economic expansion we have experienced under the Trump administration. America’s small businesses, which create two-thirds of all new jobs in the United States and represent most American export companies, will be immensely benefited by the expanded markets and protections developed in the USMCA. For Missouri’s 6,008 exporting companies, 85 percent of which are small- and medium-sized businesses with less than 500 workers, this agreement means increased opportunities for product markets, benefiting both producers and consumers.
“This agreement includes safeguards that will make it easier for small mom-and-pop businesses to search, register, and protect intellectual property through new and stronger protections for patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. These new safeguards will protect American workers from being undermined by foreign companies and help level the playing field in the global market.
“The USMCA also has stronger labor provisions than NAFTA, protecting American workers from being undercut by cheap foreign labor. The agreement also addresses a range of issues rarely addressed in NAFTA, such as regulations on digital trade and a chapter dedicated to small businesses.
“When the original transcontinental agreement was signed, the concept of e-commerce (the tool that revolutionized direct-to-consumer business and opened the market to small and locally owned businesses) was still an idea of the future. Now more than ever, small businesses in Missouri and across the country rely on the internet and e-commerce to advertise and sell their products. The USMCA delves into these areas never discussed in the NAFTA and creates opportunities for consumers across the global to experience products made in Missouri, by Missourians.
“The American manufacturing sector will also be boosted greatly by the USMCA. This industry alone represents an enormous portion of Missouri’s state economy, with nearly 252,600 American manufacturing employees calling Missouri home.
“All in all, this agreement moves our existing trading relationship with Mexico and Canada into the 21st century. As the only Missourian on the House Agriculture Committee, I have been committed to ensuring the benefits of this monumental agreement are extended to all hardworking Americans as soon as possible. We owe it to our producers and consumers to take the lead and reaffirm our commitment to productive and mutually beneficial trade with our two closest neighbors.
“One of the President’s priorities was to deliver an improved, stronger version of the North American Free Trade Agreement and I congratulate him on doing so. We’re one step closer in making the USMCA a reality, and I remain confident that the USMCA will pass both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support,” Hartzler concluded.