For the last two years, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has served as the lead voice in advocating for a strong, modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Chamber President and CEO Richard Perez provided comments to United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in 2017, testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee in the fall 2017, and spoke to business and government leaders across Texas, Mexico and Canada. Following the tariffs on aluminum and steel in 2018, we sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross indicating the importance of remaining focused on finalizing a modern NAFTA.
San Antonio’s economy relies heavily on trade, with Mexico and Canada leading as Texas’ closest trading partners. On November 30, 2018, President Donald Trump, then-President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau all signed the updated trade agreement while at the G20 Summit in Argentina. In order to take effect, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) must be ratified by the legislative branches of the three governments.
The Chamber remains committed to supporting the USMCA, as it will allow more economic certainty for our community. Though we understand that the deal may not be perfect, we believe that the passage of it will allow businesses to begin planning after two years of uncertainty.
Last week, the Chamber joined the USCMA Coalition which is a group of U.S. companies and associations working to secure Congressional approval of the USMCA. Earlier this month, we were joined by a delegation of 180 business and community leaders in Washington for the 41st annual SA to DC, where the passage of USMCA was one of the priorities we advocated for on that trip.
We will keep you abreast of opportuntiies to engage on this important issue. For more information on the USMCA or the Chamber’s advocacy, contact Belinda Garza Hartwig, Vice President of Economic Development, at 210-229-2199 or email@example.com.