COLUMBUS—State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) applauded the official start of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which becomes effective today. The USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), providing the first major overhaul of these policies in more than two decades.
"The USMCA is an incredibly important step in strengthening and protecting Ohio's workforce, manufacturing, and agriculture," Peterson said. "This trade agreement will provide the groundwork for our agricultural, manufacturing, and automotive industries to flourish and protect our intellectual property rights."
The 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.