July 7, 2021
To mark the one-year anniversary of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) entering into force, the Wilson Center held a roundtable discussion with officials from all three nations on the successes and challenges of implementing the agreement. The Wilson Center hosted:
- Ambassador Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative
- Secretary Tatiana Clouthier Carrillo, Mexican Secretary of Economy
- The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Canada
All three officials recognized the importance of the USMCA in strengthening partnerships among the three nations. In particular, they noted the incredible benefits of modernizing the trade agreement between the three trading partners to benefit workers, small businesses and, in particular, to help manage the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Tai noted the significant, bipartisan support the agreement received at home, from labor unions like the AFL-CIO, to business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She also applauded the worker-centered nature of the agreement, as well as a requirement to continuously review the agreement and ensure it remains relevant to the economy and the global environment.
Secretary Carrillo also highlighted how important it was to have the USMCA in place during the COVID-19 pandemic to help provide certainty and stability to supply chains. She went on to say that all three nations have thrived by working together as strong allies.
Minister Ng noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had shown just how integrated supply chains are, both globally and within the region. She echoed previous comments that the USMCA is crucial as the global economy recovers from COVID. Minister Ng went on to say that the agreement is helping to incentivize clean energy production and support long-term competitiveness.
Throughout the event, all three emphasized how connected the economies of all three nations are, and how important it is to have a gold standard for trade agreements in place. Everyone acknowledged that implementation is ongoing and work on the agreement will never be finished as they strive to make the agreement work to the greatest benefit of all parties.
Later on in the event, the Wilson Center welcomed House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX), who also highlighted the many benefits of the USMCA during his remarks. In particular, he noted that the USMCA helps the United States combat distortions caused by the unfair trade practices of other nations like China. He agreed that the USMCA had better-positioned the three nations to rebuild after the COVID pandemic. Ranking Member Brady also stressed the importance of the dispute resolution process included in the USMCA, noting that it is an effective tool to address disagreements between the three parties. Towards the end of his remarks, he concluded that even as we grapple with global challenges, the USMCA shows us a better way.