On Tuesday, it was announced that the Trump administration and U.S. House Democrats have reached an agreement to move forward on consideration of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The USMCA modernizes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with updated provisions for digital trade, financial services, and agriculture trade. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has called for its ratification in order to preserve and modernize U.S. trade ties with Canada and Mexico, which are by far the largest U.S. export markets supporting 12 million American jobs, and have a major impact on Kentucky businesses.
In September, now Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts urged the state’s federal delegation to support ratification of the USMCA. She pointed out that the trade agreement is a boon for Kentucky businesses and guarantees that virtually all U.S. exports will enter these markets tariff‐free and will impact Kentucky’s top exporting products in aerospace, automotive, and pharmaceuticals.
“On behalf of Kentucky’s business community, we are pleased to see that progress has been made to ensure the USMCA becomes a reality. Kentucky is a top state for trade and many of our signature industries including bourbon, automotive, aerospace, and agriculture have been negatively affected by recent tariffs. This bipartisan agreement shows that trade is important for economic growth and protecting businesses and consumers,” Watts said Tuesday.
77 percent of Kentucky’s exports are from small and medium‐sized businesses and more than 512,000 jobs in Kentucky are dependent on trade.
In an interview with The Bottom Line this week, U.S. Congressman James Comer predicted that Speaker Pelosi would eventually call the USMCA to a vote due to mounting pressure to show that Democrats in the U.S. House could govern as they pursue articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Stay tuned on The Bottom Line for more on the progress of the USCMA.