Congress Should Use August Recess to Finalize USMCA

The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) presents a much-needed update, better showcasing a modern approach to trade with the U.S.’s closest trading partners, Canada and Mexico. When it comes to “winners” and “losers” in a trade agreement, the USMCA represents a significant win for the United States.

The International Trade Commission estimates the USMCA will increase the U.S. gross domestic product by $68.2 billion while creating 176,000 U.S. jobs. Congress should have been eager to approve the agreement long ago.

Yet for seven long weeks, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer and nine Democrats assigned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to secure changes to USMCA have been engaged in talks, and they still do not agree on the USMCA’s terms. Now, the House of Representatives is off for August recess.

USTR officials and House Democrat trade staff should be using the August break to work through the sticking points—areas of labor, environment, intellectual property rights for pharmaceuticals, and enforcement—so the USTR can discuss any necessary changes to the USMCA with Mexico and Canada by September.

 Once the USTR submits the final USMCA legislation, we urge Congress to pass it with no further delay.

Ainsley Shea