WASHINGTON — A group of more than 350 representatives of U.S. business — including a number of auto industry trade associations — has submitted a letter to Congress urging passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The trade deal is the Trump's administration's proposed successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) approved during President Bill Clinton's administration.
Among those signing the letter are the Auto Care Association (ACA), Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), American Trucking Associations (ATA) and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
The agreement was signed by the countries in November 2018 and ratified by Mexico earlier this year. It awaits ratification by Canada and the U.S. Congress.
The signatories to the Oct. 15 letter urged congressional passage of the USMCA as soon as possible this fall.
"Doing so is essential to promoting certainty and growth for manufacturing businesses, workers and families across the United States," the letter said.
According to the letter, the USMCA makes significant improvements to NAFTA, including:
• Provisions for intellectual property rules that will protect the full range of U.S. manufacturing innovations from theft and set new standards for the digital economy that prohibit measures to undermine American innovation;
• Provisions for maintaining and improving duty-free access to Canadian and Mexican markets and eliminating red tape at the border, making it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to export to those markets; and
• Provisions to level the playing field through raising standards, improving transparency and prohibit discrimination and anti-competitive activity against U.S. business.
Besides the ACA, ATA, MEMA and NAM, signatories to the letter include FCA USA L.L.C., Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.