What to focus on as USMCA heads into its second year
Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai is in Mexico City this week, marking one year of the USMCA trade agreement. Here are the areas of focus as the three leaders met in person.
Mexico, the United States, and Canada reaffirmed their commitment to North American supply chains and economic competitiveness during the first in-person meeting for Trade Representatives.
Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Tatiana Clouthier hosted the event.
“We are committed towards walking in the same direction benefiting workers, democracy, and union democracy, as well as, and companies because all this goes hand-in-hand for all of us to be doing well with our commitment. This is a commitment of President Lopez Obrador, our commitment, and also an international commitment we have with USMCA,” Sec. Clouthier states.
Lumber trade between the U.S. and Canada was part of the conversation and Canadian Minister of Small Business, Mary Ng says that negotiations are in process.
According to Ng, “This is of course a file that is incredibly important to Canada, to our forestry sector, and to our workers, and on this file, of course, I had an opportunity to speak to Ambassador Tai about it and what I would say is that we continue to be committed to working together on this.”
U.S. Trade Rep Tai says that the United States has invoked the rapid response mechanism in the USMCA twice already, including for a labor complaint with Mexico.
“The timelines under this mechanism are very aggressive,” Tai explains. “They’re fast, and what that means is that we, my team and Secretary Clouthier’s team, have been working very intensively. I want to just take a moment on this particular case, and really recognize the government of Mexico for identifying irregularities in the union vote at this particular facility early on.”
Minister Ng also said that the discussion included potential expansions for emerging markets.
“The modernizations that we have made in the new NAFTA can help us promote growth in traditional sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, natural resources, and can help us become market leaders in emerging sectors such as clean technology and sustainable infrastructure through trilateral collaboration,” Ng adds.
During the event, all three ministers also met with small business owners in Mexico to hear more about how the USMCA is impacting regional supply chains.