Deal Benefiting Ohio Workers, Farmers and Small Business Owners Becomes Official Today
COLUMBUS—Senate President Larry Obhof
(R-Medina) applauded the official start of the historic United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
(USMCA), which becomes effective today. This marks the beginning of a historic new chapter for North American trade.
“Today marks a promise kept to the American people to secure a better deal for our workers and our job creators. USMCA will encourage our agricultural, manufacturing and automotive industries to flourish, protect our intellectual property rights and incentivize investment and growth,” said Obhof. “This is a historic moment for Ohio and the rest of the Midwest, as our economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to seeing the promise this agreement holds for American workers.”
USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), providing the first major overhaul of these policies in more than two decades. USMCA creates a more level playing field for American workers, removes barriers for small businesses, and encourages more goods and materials to be manufactured in the United States. For example, USMCA requires that 75 percent of auto content be made in North America. This encourages both greater investment in U.S. manufacturing, and regional economic growth. USMCA also requires that at least 40-45 percent of auto content be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour. This helps workers in both countries, by raising wages and improving labor conditions in Mexico while removing the wage-based incentive to outsource American jobs.
Additionally, USMCA will strengthen the food and agriculture trade between the three countries. Ohio’s agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico are currently valued at $3.6 billion annually and support more than 29,200 Ohio jobs. USMCA will increase this even further by breaking down non-tariff barriers and opening significant new markets for Ohio agricultural products. The agreement also contains important new protections for U.S. intellectual property. To learn more about the USMCA, click here
The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that USMCA will increase the United States' GDP by $68 billion, create approximately 176,000 jobs, including 76,000 jobs in the U.S. automotive industry.
“USMCA will be particularly important to states like Ohio,” said Obhof. “For years we have seen auto manufacturing jobs cut in working-class cities like Mansfield, Lorain, and much more recently, Lordstown. With USMCA we will reverse that trend.”
President Obhof serves on the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade
(IGPAC), which provides policy advice to the U.S. Trade Representative on issues of trade and economic development that have a significant relationship to the affairs of state and local governments. This included consideration of USMCA.
Obhof also sponsored Ohio Senate Resolution 376
, which called upon Congress to ratify USMCA. The Ohio Senate passed SR 376 last October.