McAdams votes for trade agreement to strengthen Utah economy; support Utah jobs

Congressional News 03

Congressman Ben McAdams joined in the bipartisan vote to approve the U.S. Mexico Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). McAdams has been a strong advocate for passage, urging all sides to reach an agreement and for Democratic leadership to bring it to the House floor for a vote before the end of 2019.

“This is a major win for Utah farmers and ranchers, medical equipment manufacturers, eCommerce companies, and the thousands of Utahns they employ. Mexico and Canada are key trading partners and the economic relationship between Utah and those countries supports more than 120,000 Utah jobs,” said McAdams.

At a recent roundtable in Utah with representatives from Utah businesses who trade with Mexico and Canada, McAdams said the message was clear:  passage of USMCA must happen, and must happen soon, to provide the certainty they need to operate and grow their businesses. Utah agriculture groups say 20 percent of the state’s agricultural products are sold to Mexico and Canada and a delay in approving the trade deal is a contributing factor to a 24 percent increase in farming and ranching bankruptcies in Utah. A medical device manufacturer noted that the trade agreement helps them recruit and retain highly-paid workers to compete with other companies serving international customers. A major Utah credit union said it’s important to them as well, since it financially supports many Utah businesses seeking to expand into international markets.

“Utah County’s economic growth is driven by a number of different factors, including international trade. USMCA is critical to our economic future because it will preserve and strengthen U.S. trade ties to Canada and Mexico,” said Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Rona Rahlf.

McAdams said final negotiations on the trade deal resulted in stronger enforcement provisions on labor and environmental standards, ensuring U.S. companies are not undercut by weaker standards in other countries. Changes negotiated between Congress and the White House brought a wide range of organizations together in support of the final agreement, including the American Farm Bureau, the Information Technology Industry, the National Association of Homebuilders, the AFL-CIO, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The deal is also backed by numerous Utah chambers and business groups including World Trade Center Utah, West Jordan Chamber of Commerce and the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, among others.

“This was a priority of President Trump that I have long supported. I am glad that I was able to help deliver on this priority for him and for Utahns. We were elected to move forward on priorities that matter to people’s everyday lives. Nothing is more fundamental than for businesses, employees and communities to have stability and opportunity on the economic front.  Open and fair trade is a win for Utah and for America,” said McAdams.