On Wednesday, May 29, Congressman Will Hurd joined business leaders for a conversation about the importance of Congress adopting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) this year, which is the updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) originally signed in San Antonio.
The whistle stop was part of the nationwide tour the grassroots organization Farmers for Free Trade has organized to highlight the impact trade has on communities. Chamber President & CEO Richard Perez and Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening were joined by local farmers and businesses for the discussion.
Since 2017, the Chamber has been advocating for the 1992 NAFTA to be updated to reflect the modern business environment. The International Trade Commission released a report https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4889.pdf to Congress last month that stated the USMCA would have a positive net economic impact to the United States, with the greatest beneficiary being the manufacturing industry.
The San Antonio economy, among others, has experienced stalled investment from foreign and domestic companies since the North American countries began their renegotiations in 2017. Though progress has been made, the upcoming 2020 presidential election in the U.S. poses a political threat to a deal if it is not reached before this August.
A number of hurdles still must be crossed before a vote can be taken, but currently there are not enough votes in Congress to pass the USMCA. It is imperative that we continue to state the importance of having a free trade agreement in place with our neighbors who are our top trading partners.
For more information on the USMCA, contact Belinda Garza Hartwig, Vice President of Economic Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-229-2199.