New trade agreement praised for catching up to 2020

Thursday, January 30, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

economy (money background)The new trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada is being praised by a small business advocate for recognizing the growth of e-commerce and the influence of small companies.  

President Donald Trump signed the USMCA this week in a ceremony at the White House, where he predicted it updates the venerable, Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement.

Karen Kerrigan, who leads the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, says USMCA recognizes how technology has became a big part of business and entrepreneurs, thus the new trade agreement updates and improves NAFTA, signed in 1993.

More and more businesses are utilizing and relying on Internet-based sales, Kerrigan says, and USMCA recognizes that fact by not taxing the packages being shipped to our neighbors to the north and south.

"Technology is where the U.S. is very dominant right now,” Kerrigan tells OneNewsNow, “and if we continue to export our technology without it being taxed, or discriminated against at the border, this is going to be a huge boost to the U.S economy and similarly for e-commerce.”

Many of the U.S.-based businesses doing business in Canada and Mexico are small or mid-size operations, Kerrigan advises. Of the ones doing business with Canadian buyers, she says, 82 percent employ 20 or fewer people.

Critics of USMCA such as the liberal Economic Policy Institute suggest it will create no more than 51,000 new jobs over the next six years, but Kerrigan counters that some job projections are actually conservative because businesses that profit will create more jobs and thus help their communities.

Made in USA (label)A job projection by the U.S. International Trade Commission has calculated the trade deal will add 176,000 jobs and add $68 billion to the economy over that same time period The Associated Press reported.

Terms of the USMCA are set to expire after 16 years and the participating countries can review the agreement every six years at which point they can decide to extend the agreement.

"I think that six-year lookback is a good thing," says Kerrigan. "There's also language that gives small businesses a permanent stakeholder voice in this agreement, where we'll be able to bring up issues that emerge that maybe haven't been thought about -- or were overlooked -- on an ongoing basis, and the countries can address that on an as-needed basis."

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