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Trilateral Meeting Offers Opportunity for USMCA Discussion

President Joe Biden met yesterday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to discuss the region’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and immigration, as part of a series of trilateral meetings that have been on hiatus since 2016.

Why it matters: The meeting is the first of its kind since the regular trilateral series was suspended during the previous administration and the first meeting between the leaders of all three countries since the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement entered into force last year. The implementation of the USMCA was a landmark milestone for manufacturers and manufacturing workers in the United States, creating important certainty for the North American market.

Facing challenges: The governments of Mexico and Canada—particularly Mexico—have implemented or introduced measures that have threatened to put manufacturers in the United States at a disadvantage. Notably, Mexico has implemented or introduced a series of regulations and standards that would harm manufacturers in the energy, power generation, telecommunications, biopharmaceuticals, chemicals and food and agriculture sectors, among others.

What we’ve said: The signing of the USMCA was a major NAM priority, and the NAM has urged Mexico and Canada consistently to respect and enforce the rules of the agreement.

  • “A fully implemented U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement will protect American jobs and grow manufacturing in the U.S., but manufacturers continue to face many challenges,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons in a tweet earlier this week. “For the USMCA to be successful, Mexico must reverse actions that violate the letter and spirit of the agreement.”

What we’re saying: “It is critical that commercial challenges facing manufacturers in the United States are raised with Mexico and Canada so that our industry can engage in the North American market in a manner that is both free and fair,” said NAM Director of International Trade Policy Maria Sierra. “The NAM will continue to raise these concerns with the Biden administration and the governments of Mexico and Canada, and we urge full implementation and enforcement of the USMCA.”

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