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NAM Advances Manufacturing Priorities at USMCA Meeting in Mexico

The NAM met with North American trade ministers last week in Cancun, Mexico, where it urged them to take up key trade priorities for manufacturers.

What happened: The NAM led a delegation from the American business community, which participated in a roundtable discussion ahead of the third United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement “Free Trade Commission” on July 7 in Cancun.

  • Attendees at the roundtable event included NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng, Mexican Secretary of the Economy Raquel Buenrostro and business executives from the three countries, including Rockwell Automation Chairman and CEO Blake Moret.

Shared values: The NAM underscored the importance of an investment climate underpinned by core democratic principles, such as transparency and the rule of law.

  • “We believe in democracy,” Timmons said. “However imperfect, this system fosters free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity. These values make manufacturing strong in our countries.”
  • He added that each year North American manufacturers contribute $3 trillion to the U.S., Canadian and Mexican economies.

What must be done: Though the USMCA already creates advantages for North American manufacturers, the agreement’s full potential can only be realized if the three countries work together to address certain key challenges, Timmons told the attendees. Some of the main hurdles include:

  • Mexico’s power-generation policies, which have long favored Mexican state-owned energy companies and led to higher bills for manufacturers that must use existing energy-supply contracts;
  • Permitting delays for U.S. projects in Mexico that undercut American firms and reduce energy supply to North American manufacturers and consumers;
  • Mexico’s expanded food-labeling requirements and bans on the sale of some U.S. foods and nonalcoholic beverages to minors, which unjustly restrict U.S. exports;

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