The USMCA is a Free Trade Agreement for Modern Times
Author: Andy Koenig, Senior Advisor
Since the dawn of the Internet in the 1990s, the digital world has been constantly changing. Computers, which once used to overtake a room, now fit in the palm of your hand. Phones are now pocket-sized, cordless, and truly mobile. They can also double as a computer, television, or online marketplace — all you need is a cellular data connection. Whether you are on your phone, computer, or tablet, you have the ability to buy anything from anywhere.
But just as we update our phone applications to keep up with the changing digital world, we must similarly update our trade deals. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is the solution to trade with our neighbors in the digital era.
The USMCA is a new deal that understands the significance of digital trade and how the Internet has become the major trade platform that it is today. The agreement specifically focuses on digital trade in the modern era and allows for updates every six years to accommodate new trade challenges and opportunities that will inevitably arise in the future.
The USMCA updates our previous agreement with Canada and Mexico, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA was ratified in 1994 to establish rules of trade between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. But without a focus on the digital world, this trade deal has become outdated and unworkable.
The USMCA is a win for all involved but still faces one major hurdle: Congress must pass it. Each and every day of delay hurts current and future American workers and their families. Congress must be the voice of the people and act now to update North American trade to reflect today’s technologies, practices, and realities.