By Michael Shapiro, NAM
WASHINGTON, D.C. — National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons yesterday joined Vice President Mike Pence and manufacturing leaders from across Pennsylvania at SCHOTT North America in Duryea to celebrate the factory’s 50th anniversary and to urge Congress to ratify the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement. Leaders of the United States, Mexico, and Canada approved the USMCA last year to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.
In his visit with Vice President Pence to a Pennsylvania manufacturer in support of the USMCA, Timmons stated that tax reform and regulatory certainty championed by the current administration served as “rocket fuel for manufacturers, propelling manufacturing to new heights.” But, he noted, manufacturers are seeing new challenges brought on by global headwinds. Timmons pointed to the group’s most recent quarterly outlook survey—where more than 60 percent of NAM member companies saw trade uncertainties as a major challenge—as yet another reminder of why manufacturers need the USMCA passed soon.
Below are excerpts from Timmons’ remarks urging swift passage of the USMCA:
“Twenty-five years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement helped expand access to Canada and Mexico, but our industry has transformed since then. NAFTA is now in need of an update—a new set of standards for the 21st-century economy—which is exactly why the administration negotiated the USMCA.
“Now it’s time for Congress to pass it.
“For manufacturers like SCHOTT, the USMCA would provide best-in-class intellectual property rules, set new standards for innovation and the modern digital economy, eliminate red tape at the border, improve transparency and ensure we can sell products duty free and much more.
“Why is that so important?
“SCHOTT earns more than three-quarters of its sales from consumers outside of the United States. These sales support good jobs for SCHOTT’s workers and a better economy for everyone. For so many manufacturers, expanding access to international markets is critical.
“And the most important trading markets are Canada and Mexico, which alone purchase more U.S.-manufactured goods than our next 11 trading partners combined—despite representing less than 4 percent of the global economy.
“That’s why manufacturers are raising our voices in unison, calling on Congress to ratify this agreement and provide businesses with a level playing field and certainty to compete, grow and win in the global market.
“The Speaker of the House said recently that her party is ‘on a path to yes.’ So let’s get to the destination and pass the USMCA this year.”
Timmons concluded his remarks with a call for manufacturers to let their voices be heard by telling members of Congress that “a vote for the USMCA is a vote for America’s manufacturing workers.”
In addition to Vice President Pence, Timmons was joined by SCHOTT North America President Jim Gareau, SCHOTT Duryea Site Manager Robert Gomeau, hundreds of manufacturing employees, and dozens of community leaders from across Pennsylvania.
For Timmons’ full remarks, click here.Tagged with manufacturing, NAM