PHOENIX (January 16, 2020) –The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry hailed today’s Senate passage of H.R. 5430, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act.
Passage of the bill represents the final legislative step in the formal adoption of the USMCA. The U.S. House last month completed its work on the bill, passing it by a wide margin.
The Chamber has been the Arizona business community’s most vocal and active supporter of the USMCA, which modernizes several elements of the existing trinational trade agreement between the three North American countries. Arizona Chamber President and CEO Glenn Hamer has made several visits to Mexico for high-level meetings on the agreement with leading figures within Mexico’s executive and legislative branches, and he’s met with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other administration officials responsible for negotiations.
Hamer issued the following statements in reaction to the vote:
“Today’s vote is truly historic. This strong, bipartisan vote sends a clear message that the United States is ready to compete economically on a global scale in the 21st century. Upon implementation of USMCA, no region of the world can compete at the same level as North America. USMCA preserves tariff-free trade, brings our trade policy out of the dialup age into the broadband age, removes regulatory hurdles for small business, updates outdated customs protocols, and more. The economies of all three countries are poised for expansion under this new deal.”
The positive impact on Arizona
“No state is as well positioned for economic growth under USMCA like Arizona, which, according to research compiled by the Arizona Chamber, Arizona-Mexico Commission, and Arizona Chamber Foundation, already can credit an estimated 228,000 jobs to trade with Mexico and Canada. The Arizona Chamber is proud to have played such a positive role on behalf of Arizona’s job creators in seeing this agreement through to this historic day.”
“United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mexican Undersecretary for North America Jesús Seade, and Canadian Deputy Minister Chrystia Freeland all deserve tremendous credit for forging an outstanding agreement. Ambassador Lighthizer, especially, who vowed from the outset of this process that he was committed to crafting a deal that would attract support from across the political spectrum, deserves special recognition. He proved to be a master negotiator throughout this more-than-yearlong process and crafted the best trade agreement the U.S. has ever signed on to.
“Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should be commended for avoiding the many distractions that could have derailed the passage of USMCA. Their work on this bill is a credit to their commitment to the institutions they serve and to their commitment to the American people.”
The Arizona congressional delegation
“On behalf of Arizona’s job creators whose supply chains and customers span beyond Arizona borders, I want to thank the entire Arizona congressional delegation—House and Senate. Each and every member of the delegation voted to support USMCA. Each member made the right vote for the state and country.
“In the House, Rep. Greg Stanton distinguished himself as a leader within his caucus for the USMCA, urging his colleagues to set partisanship aside and to support the deal that will ensure that the North American trading bloc remains the globe’s most competitive. Rep. Stanton during his time as mayor of Phoenix conducted 18 trade missions to Mexico, and he presided over the opening of trade offices in Mexico City and Hermosillo. That experience and insight was on full display throughout the negotiation and eventual passage of USMCA.”
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema
“The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry applauds the U.S. Senate and Sen. Sinema for today’s bipartisan vote to adopt the USMCA. No state is better positioned for growth under USMCA than Arizona, which already can attribute 228,000 jobs to trade with Canada and Mexico. Arizona’s job creators thank Sen. Sinema for her ongoing work to strengthen Arizona and the country’s relationship with these two friends, allies, and trade partners. Her vote to support USMCA, as well as her recent successful effort to reauthorize for seven years the Ex-Im Bank, is deeply appreciated by the many Arizona businesses whose continued success depends on their ability to reach customers and supply chains beyond our borders.”
Sen. Martha McSally
“On behalf of job creators across the state, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry thanks Sen. McSally for her vote to adopt the USMCA, which ensures North America’s position as the globe’s most competitive trade bloc. Sen. McSally’s vocal and sustained leadership to maintain tariff-free cross-border trade and to ensure that the new agreement did not diminish important Arizona industries like the fresh produce industry, have been critical. We thank her for her support of USMCA and the more than 200,000 Arizona jobs that depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.”
Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona-Mexico Commission
“No governor has been as committed to the passage of USMCA like Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Like he is on all issues, the governor on USMCA has been served by a tremendous team. I can’t think of another Arizona business leader who understands the value of our cross-border relationship from both a business and cultural standpoint better than Jessica Pacheco, the president of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. Her deep insight and understanding, combined with that of Senior Adviser Juan Ciscomani, and special consultant Luis Ramírez, have resulted in Arizona being the nation’s leader in administration-level advocacy for USMCA.
“Gov. Ducey and the AMC have been relentless in the pursuit of USMCA’s passage. From inviting Mexico Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena to Arizona, to establishing a special USMCA-focused website, to addressing national audiences ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to the Wilson Center Mexico Institute, Gov. Ducey was—and continues to be—the nation’s most articulate, forceful governor for stronger, healthier, cross-border relations through expanded trade.”
The legacy of former congressman Jim Kolbe
“It’s not hyperbole to say that were it not for former Arizona congressman Jim Kolbe, there would be no USMCA, because without Jim Kolbe’s there is no NAFTA. The original North American Free Trade Agreement dating back a quarter-century ago was made possible in no small part because of the tremendous contributions of former congressman Kolbe. USMCA sets the standard for future trade accords in the decades to come, but Jim Kolbe set the standard for trade expertise on Capitol Hill. Today’s result is a testament to his legacy.”
The Arizona Legislature
“The Arizona state Legislature should be commended for adopting bipartisan resolutions in support of USMCA. Legislators all across Arizona, from communities urban and rural, recognized that USMCA’s passage was essential to Arizona’s economic health.
“State Rep. Tony Rivero and state Rep. César Chávez were both champions for USMCA within their caucuses and nationally. Arizona is so fortunate to have such thoughtful lawmakers who strive to elevate Arizona’s standing on a global scale.”
The Arizona business community
“Arizona’s largest city, Phoenix, enjoys such a positive relationship with Mexico today in large part because of the work of public affairs firm Molera-Alvarez, its principals Jaime Molera and Ruben Alvarez, and José Andrés Garcia, all of whom expertly managed the city’s trade offices in Mexico and continue to help businesses in Arizona with our largest trading partner. It is my sincere hope that Phoenix’s trade offices in Mexico will open again soon so Phoenix-area businesses can take advantage of the potential that comes with USMCA.”
“Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association President and CEO Kim Sabow throughout the USMCA negotiation proved time and again why she is one of the nation’s most well-regarded tourism industry professionals. As Kim and I wrote about in a recent column for Today’s Hotelier Magazine, passage of USMCA means $1.7 billion in travel-generated economic output and the creation of 15,000 jobs. I am confident that Kim’s advocacy for USMCA will result in growth in inbound travel from our friends in Canada and Mexico to Arizona.”
The national business community
“The broader American business community has been incredibly active throughout the entire USMCA process. The U.S. Chamber and the National Association of Manufacturers, especially, deserve credit for remaining consistent in their advocacy for USMCA, despite occasional headwinds and distractions. Both groups demonstrated why they’re so valued by their members and by job creators across the country.
“At the U.S. Chamber, John Murphy, Myron Brilliant, and their colleagues in the international trade department burnished the U.S. Chamber’s already stellar reputation as the nation’s most trusted business association.
“For more than a year, the National Association of Manufacturers’ Linda Dempsey distilled complicated trade policies, facts, and figures into an easy-to-understand case for trade and for the passage of USMCA. Thanks to the NAM, Linda, and NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, U.S. and Arizona manufacturers are better off in 2020 than they were in 2019.”
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