As U.S. Enters USMCA Trade Deal, Pappas Holds Conversation with NH Business Leaders
Today, July 1st, as the United States enters into the USMCA trade deal, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) held a virtual roundtable conversation with New Hampshire business owners and leaders to discuss the importance of the deal to the New Hampshire economy.
“New Hampshire exported more than $1.1 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico in 2018, and the USMCA trade deal is crucial to provide opportunities and stability for our companies and workers,” said Congressman Chris Pappas. “I was pleased that we were able to secure important modifications to the original language before it was approved by Congress. In doing so we were able to strengthen labor enforcement and improve provisions dealing with biologic drugs and the environment. This effort produced a strong bipartisan deal that's a drastic improvement over NAFTA. It is estimated that U.S. exports will grow by $33 billion above NAFTA levels, and we will see benefits across the board for our workers, small businesses, manufacturers, and farmers that drive our economy here in New Hampshire.”
“At the state level we're excited to see this agreement come into effect today,” said Tina Kasim, Program Manager for the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs Office of International Commerce. “This revamped agreement makes access to new business development opportunities easier and more of a reality, especially to our small businesses.”
In speaking about the bipartisan nature of the trade agreement, Dave Juvet, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire said: “I think both sides recognized the importance of trade and trade agreements… It really took cooperation, and the BIA and also the US Chamber of Commerce that was very much in favor of this agreement, really appreciated the leadership of Congress and the administration in getting this through.”
“It's critically important that we do whatever we can to maintain the health of New Hampshire's manufacturing community, which is why we were so happy when all of the obstacles were overcome in creating this new trade agreement, and are very pleased to recognize today is the day that it goes into effect.”
“We're part of the Hutchinson group, which is a worldwide company. And there are a 100 different manufacturing plants around the world that are called Hutchinson, they do different product commodities for automotive, aerospace etc, but we have a unique process here in New Hampshire so that’s why we’re able to export product at a very good price,” said Paul MacDonald, Hutchinson Sealing Systems Plant Manager. “Anything that helps us with the supply chain, anything that helps us with entering these markets is of great importance for us… So this is all going to help us.”
“Anything we can do to streamline and simplify the process of importing and exporting goods amongst our nearby neighbor countries is important and helps really create opportunities, and we really appreciate that. Obviously there are a lot of similarities between this trade agreement and its predecessor, but we really do appreciate a lot of the changes that were made,” said Mark Elliott, Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs at Velcro Companies.
In December 2019, Congressman Pappas voted in the House to pass the USMCA trade deal, which takes effect today. Last year, he met with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and urged him to address concerns related to exclusivity for biologic drugs, lax labor provisions and weak environmental protections in an earlier version of the agreement.