Greater Louisville Inc. The Metro Chamber of Commerce 2019 Chamber of the Year
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May 29, 2019 2:15pm

Approve USMCA and restore certainty to international trade

This week, GLI sent letters to members of the Greater Louisville congressional delegation, urging them to support the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA. This international trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada serves as a welcome modernization of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, and will bring much-needed certainty to Greater Louisville businesses. With President Trump’s recent announcement lifting tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico, now is the time for Congress to give its formal approval to USMCA.

Read our full letter.

Greater Louisville Inc., The Metro Chamber of Commerce, urges your support for the ratification of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). As a world-renowned logistics and manufacturing hub, Greater Louisville’s economy is closely linked to international trade and access to foreign markets. Ratification of the USMCA would begin the process of turning the page on an era of uncertainty and bring much-needed stability to our region’s trade relationship with Canada and Mexico. With the recent announcement by the Trump Administration lifting steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, the time is now right to move forward with this important trade agreement.

Greater Louisville is truly a global region. This is reflected not only by our diverse population but also by our economic links to foreign markets. Louisville is literally the beginning and end point of a daily 7,700-mile around-the-world cargo flight that makes stops in Dubai, Shenzhen, and Anchorage before returning home. More than 2.6 million metric tons of cargo move through the Louisville International Airport each year. We are outpacing cities like Tokyo and Paris and competing with Shanghai and Incheon. World-class logistics companies in Louisville can access 80 percent of the world’s population in a stunning 48 hours. The logistics industry supports more than 40,000 jobs throughout our bi-state region. UPS alone employs more than 20,000 individuals within Greater Louisville.

Greater Louisville also has a long history of manufacturing and exporting goods throughout the world — especially to Mexico and Canada. In 2016, Jefferson County exported $7.8 billion worth of products, ranging from transportation equipment and fabricated metals to Bourbon and household appliances. Our surrounding counties are active exporters as well. Clark and Floyd counties in Southern Indiana, for example, exported more than $600 million worth of goods in 2016. Where are all these exports going? According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, almost 50 percent of exports from Louisville went to Canada and Mexico. Trade with our neighbors to the north and south helps support more than 80,000 manufacturing jobs throughout the Greater Louisville region.

Events within the past two years have threatened to destabilize America’s trade relationship with Canada and Mexico, which puts much of this economic activity at risk. When President Trump announced his administration’s intentions to terminate the long-standing North American Free Trade Agreement, businesses in our region faced the threat of losing access to supply chains and some of their most critical consumer markets, while our logistics industry braced for a downturn in the movement of goods across international borders.

The Trump Administration’s recent decision to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico represents a positive and important first step in removing this uncertainty. This was a welcome decision that will provide relief for many businesses in our region. Ratification of USMCA, however, would be even more impactful and bring long-run stability to our vital trade relationship with Canada and Mexico. GLI strongly encourages you to support USMCA and to champion its ratification by Congress.