The Tennessee Business Roundtable (“the Roundtable”; “TBR”) today voiced its support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by joining several Tennessee business groups in signing a letter to Congress calling for enactment of the agreement.
“Mexico and Canada are two of Tennessee’s most critical trading partners, and our Roundtable stands with Tennessee’s business community in calling upon Congress to enact the USMCA agreement,” said TBR 2019 Chairman Anthony C. Kimbrough, CEO of Columbia-based Farm Bureau Health Plans. “Tennessee exports over $15 billion in goods and services annually to Mexico and Canada, and trade with those two countries alone supports nearly a quarter-million jobs here in Tennessee,” Kimbrough added. “There’s no question that Tennessee’s economy and globally-competitive workforce stand to win from implementation of the USMCA, and our Roundtable therefore supports enactment of this critical international trade policy as soon as possible.”
“Promoting stable and fair trade relations between the United States, Mexico and Canada is one of the most important things our congressional delegation can do to secure the long-term success of Tennessee’s economy,” stated TBR President Pat Sheehy. “By making key improvements to existing trade rules between the U.S., Canada and Mexico on agriculture, intellectual property, goods market access, labor, and rules of origin, we expect the USMCA agreement will enhance the competitiveness of key Tennessee industries, including agriculture, chemicals, manufacturing, medical devices, and trucking,” he continued. “Our Roundtable is proud to join TBR members Eastman, UPS and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and other Tennessee business leaders, in strongly supporting enactment of the USMCA by Congress.”
Signed in November 2018 by trade negotiators from the United States, Mexico and Canada, the USMCA now awaits ratification by the signatory nations’ respective national legislatures before taking effect. White House officials submitted a so-called Statement of Administrative Action, a step toward introducing USMCA ratification legislation, to Congress on May 30. Federal trade officials and congressional leaders continue to hold discussions aimed at resolving concerns about provisions on enforcement, labor, environmental standards, and drug pricing.