USMCA PROGRESS ON CAPITOL HILL
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met Wednesday and Thursday on Capitol Hill with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) working group. The sticking points for the nine-member working group continue to be on issues relating to the environment, enforcement, access to medicines and labor. In remarks during her weekly press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the working group is getting closer to an agreement, but enforcement especially has not been resolved. In related news, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent a letter this week to House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), outlining what the country is doing to allay labor concerns. In related news, NPPC joined numerous groups in signing a letter this week, urging Congress to ratify the USMCA agreement “as soon as possible this autumn. Doing so is essential to promoting certainty and growth for manufacturing businesses, workers and families across the United States—each of whom relies on trade with our North American partners to prosper and grow.” The letter was spearheaded by the National Association of Manufacturers and signed by NPPC and more than 350 business groups and companies. Passage of USMCA is one of NPPC’s top priorities. Last year, more than 40 percent of U.S. pork exported went to Canada and Mexico. A USMCA agreement provides much-needed market certainty for U.S. pork producers, ensuring zero-duty market access to two of their largest export markets.